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Full text of "Personal sketches of his own times"

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BARRLXGTOXS PERSONAL SKETCHES 



PERSONAL SKETCHES 

OF 

HIS OWN TIMES 



BY 

Sill JONAH BABEINGTON 

MEMBER OF THE IRISn PARLIAMENT, 
JIDGE OF THE HIOIC COLKT OF ADMIRALTY IN IRELAND, AND AUTHOR OF 
"THE RISE AND FALL OF Tn E IRISH NATION." 



THIRD EDITION 
With a Memoir of the Author; an Essay on Irish Wit and Humour ; 
and Notes and Corrections 

By TOWNSEND YOUNG, LL.D. 

AVTnOR OF " THE HISTORY OF IRELAND," ETC. 



IX TWO VOLS. — VOL. II. 



LONDON: 

LYNCH CONWAY GENT. 
1871 



1 



CONTENTS 

OF 

THE SECOND VOLUME. 



IRISH WEE AND HUMOUR . 

MRS. JORDAN : A MEMOIR. 

Mrs. Jordan's birth and parentage — Her meeting with Herbert, 
author of Irish Varieties — Her first appearance on the Dublin 
stage, and success — Joins Daly's company — Lieut. Doyno 
proposes for her and is refused — Engaged by Tate Wilkin- 
son — Appears at Drury Lane, and welcomed by a faction 
opposed to Mrs. Siddons — Her subsequent career as an 
actress — Her comparative merits — Known as Mrs. Ford — 
Her letter in the newspapers — Goes under the protection of 
the Duke of Clarence — Her subsequent career — Her pecuni- 
ary difficulties — The conduct of the Duke defended — With- 
draws to France ....... 20 

MRS. JORDAN. 

Public mis-statements respecting that lady — The Author's 
long acquaintance with her — Debut of Mrs. Jordan, at the 
Dublin Theatre, as Miss Francis — Favourite actresses then 
in possession of the stage — Theatrical jealousy — Mrs. Daly 
(formerly Miss Barsanti) — Curious inversion of characters in 
the opera of " The Governess " — Iieut. Doyne proposes for 
Miss Francis — His suit rejected from prudential considera- 
tions — Miss Francis departs for England — Mr. Owenson, 
Lady Morgan's father — Comparison between that performer 
and Mr. John (commonly called Irish) Johnstone — Introduc- 
tion of the author to his Royal Highness the Duke of 



PAGE 
1 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



Clarence — Mrs. Jordan in the green-room, and on the stage PAG 
— Her remarks on the theatrical art, and on her own style 
of acting — Her last visit to Dublin — Mr. Dwyer the actor, 
and Mr. Sergeant Gould — Mrs. Jordan in private society — 
Extracts from her letters — Her retirement from Eushy and 
subsequent embarkation for Trance . . . .37 

MES. JOED AN IN EEANCE. 

Decline of Mrs. Jordan's health — Description of her cottage and 
grounds at Boulogne-sur-Mer — Madame Ducamp and her 
servant Agnes — Their account of Mrs. Jordan's habits and 
manners — Eemoval of that lady to Versailles and subse- 
quently to St. Cloud — Account of her illness and last 
moments ........ 53 

MEMOEY. 

Diversity of the author's pursuits — Superficial acquirements 
contrasted with solid — Variety and change of study con- 
ducive to health — How to avoid ennui — The principles of 
memory and fear — The author's theory respecting the former, 
and his motive for its introduction . . . .61 

POLITICAL CONDUCT OE THE AUTHOR 

Letter from the author to Mr. Burne, relating to the political 
conduct of the former at the period of the Union — Extracts 
from letters written to the author by Lord "Westmoreland — 
General reflections on the political condition of Ireland at 
the present time — Hint towards the revival of a curious old 
statute — Clerical justices — The king in Ireland — Catholics 
and Protestants — Mischievous virulence of party feeling . 65 ; 

SCENES AT HAVEE DE GEACE. 

Peace of 1814 — The Bourbons and emigres generally — Motives 
of the author in visiting the Continent — His departure from 
England with his family — Arrival at Havre de Grace — The 
Coteau cCIngouville — Doctor Sorerie and his graduated scale — 



CONTENTS. 



vii 



The Pavilion Poulet — The author's rural retirement disturbed PAGE 
by Napoleon's return from Elba — Two Eussians mutilated by 
the mob — Eetirement of Louis 1c Desire from Paris — Ee- 
cruiting for the Emperor and the King — Meeting at the 
house of the consul, Mr. Stuart — A vinous harangue — 
Prompt embarkation of the British — The Huissiers and the 
spring showers — Signs of the times. . . . .73 

COMMENCEMENT OF THE HUNDRED DAYS. 

A family council — Journey from Havre to Paris — Attention of 
the French officers to the author and his party — Peaceable 
condition of the intervening country — Thoughts on revolu- 
tions in general — Ireland in 1798 — Arrival in the French 
capital — Admirable state of the police — Henry Thevenot — 
Misgivings of the author — His interview with Count Ber- 
trand — Polite conduct of the Count — The Emperor's chapel 
— Napoleon at mass — His deportment — Treasonable garments 
— Colonel Gowen — Napoleon amongst his soldiers . . 87 

THE ENGLISH IN PAEIS. 

Doctor and Mrs. Marshall — Colonel Macirone, aid- de-camp to 
Joachim Murat, whilst King of Naples — General Arthur 
O'Connor — Lord and Lady Kinnaird — Suspected of espion- 
nagSf and arrested — Messrs. Hobhouse and Bruce — Dr. 
Marshall's correct information as to passing events — Madame 
la parente du Ministre Fouche — Henry Thevenot . .97 

INAUGUEATION OF THE EMPEROR. 

'Hie peers and deputies summoned for the 8th of June — Abduc- 
tion of the regalia by the royalists — Entrance of Napoleon 
into the Chamber — Sketch of his appearance and that of 
Madame Mere — The Duke of Otranto and Count Thibau- 
deau — The imperial speech and its ineffective delivery . 105 

PROMULGATION OF THE CONSTITUTION. 

Apathy of the people — Pont de Jena — Policy of Napoleon re- 
garding Fouche — Procession to the Champ de Mars — Ee- 



viii 



CONTENTS. 



flections on some points in the history of Napoleon — His PAG j E 
mistake in changing the republican into a monarchical govern- 
ment — The Emperor's liberality — His personal dejection on 
this day — Eejoicings succeeding the Promulgation — Superi- 
ority of the French in matters of embellishment — Gratuitous 
distribution of provisions and wine — Politeness of the lower 
orders of French — Display of fireworks — Mr. Hobhouse's 
" Second Eeign of Napoleon " . . . . . 11&* 

LAST DAYS OF THE IMPEEIAL GOVEBNMENT. 

Eejoicings on Napoleon's victory over Blucher and surprise of 
Lord Wellington — Bulletin issued at St. Cloud — Author's 
alarm on account of his family — Proposes quitting Paris — 
Information of Henry Thevenot : confirmed at Lafitte's — 
Napoleon's return from Waterloo — The author's sources of 
intelligence — His visits to the Chamber of Deputies — Garat, 
Minister of Justice at the period of Louis's decapitation — 
The Rousseau MSS. and their peculiar utility to the author 
— Fouche's treachery — Vacillating plan to inform Napoleon 
thereof, through Count Thibaudeau — Observations on the 
vicissitudes and political extinction of Bonaparte . .128 

DETENTION AT VILETTE. 

Negotiation between the provisional government of Paris and 
the allies — Colonel Macirone's mission — The author crossss 
the barrier of the French army, misses the colonel, and is de- 
tained on suspicion — Led before Marshal Davoust, Prince 
d'Eckmuhl and Commander-in-Chief of the forces at Vilette 
— The marshal's haughty demeanour, and the imprecations of 
the soldiery — Account of the army at Vilette — Eeturn of the 
Parlement aires — Awkward mistake of one of the sentries — 
Liberation of the author — Marshal Davoust' s expressions to 
the negotiators . . . . . . .138 

PEOJECTED ESCAPE OF NAPOLEON. 

Attack on the bridge of Charenton by the Eussians — Fouche's 
arrangements for the defence of Paris — Bonaparte's retire- 



CONTEXTS. 



ix 



ment to Malmaison — His want of moral courage — Compari- PAOE 
son between Napoleon and Frederick the Great — Extraordi- 
nary resolution of the ex-Emperor to repair to London — 
Preparations for his undertaking the journey as secretary to 
Dr. Marshall — The scheme abandoned from dread of 
treachery on the road to the coast — Termination of the 
author's intercourse with Dr. Marshall, and the cause 
thereof — Remuneration of Colonel Macirone by the arch- 
traitor, Fouche . . . . . . .145 

BATTLE OF SEVRES AND ISSY. 

Afternoon ramble on the Boulevart Italien — Interrupted by the 
report of artillery — Sang froid of the fair sex — Female 
soldiers — The Author repairs to a point commanding the 
field of battle — Site of the projected palace of the King of 
Rome — Blowing up of the Bridge of St. Cloud — Visit of the 
Author to the encampment in the Champ de Mars — The 
wounded soldier . . . . . . .151 

CAPITULATION OF PARIS. 

Retirement of the army of Vilette behind the Loire — Occupation 
of the French capital by the Allies — Thoughts on the disposi- 
tion of the Bourbon Government towards Great Britain — 
Conduct of the Allies after their possession of Paris — In- 
fringements of the treaty — Removal of the works of art 
from the Louvre — Little interludes got up between the French 
king and the Allies — Louis the Eighteenth's magnanimous 
letters — Threatened destruction of the Pont de Jena by 
Marshal Blucher — Heroic resolution of His Most Christian 
Majesty to perish in the explosion . . . .160 

THE CATACOMBS AND PERE LA CHAISE. 

The Catacombs of Paris — Ineffective nature of the written de- 
scription of these as compared with the reality — Author's 
descent into them — His speedy return — Contrast presented 
by the cemetery of Pere la Chaise — Tomb of Abelard and 
Heloise — An English capitalist's notions of sentiment . 165 



CONTENTS. 



PEDIGEEE - HUNTING. 

The author's efforts to discover the source of his name and family PAGI ' 
— The Irish herald-at-arms — Eeference made by him. to the 
English professor — Heraldic speculation — Ascent of the 
author's pedigree to the reign of William the Conqueror — 
Consultation with the Norman herald suggested — Author's 
visit to Eouen — Madame Cousin and her system — M. Helliot, 
the celebrated ancien avocat of Eouen — Practice of legal 
bigamy in Normandy — Death of M. Helliot — Interview with 
an old herald, formerly of the noblesse — Discovery of the 
town and castle of Barentin — Yisit to Jersey, where Drogo 
de Barentin was killed — Eeturn to Barentin, and singular 
incident at Ivetot . . . . . . .168 



PEEPLEXITIES OF A BAEONET. 

How to improve a family name — The cognomen of Alderman Sir 
' W. Stammer — Yowel versus Consonant — The lady of " mas- 
culine understanding" — The Alderman's conditions on alter- 
ing his surname — George the Fourth's visit to Dublin — 
Various heraldic bearings . . . . . .179 



DANGEES OE EEELECTION. 

Personal description of Counsellor Conaghty — Singular contrast 
of physical roughness and mental suavity — A legal costume 
— The Counsellor's marriage — The bride described — Her plan 
for inducing her husband to sacrifice to the Graces — The 
fatal mirror — The Counsellor views himself in a new light — 
His consternation and false persuasion — The devil unjustly 
accused — Conaghty's illness and death . . . .192 



EOEMEE STATE OE MEDICINE IN IEELAND. 

Eemarks on Sir Charles Morgan's account of the Former State 
of Medicine in Italy — The author's studies in the Anato- 
mical Theatre of Dublin University — Dr. Burdet — Former 
importance of farriers and collonghs — Jug Coyle, and her 



CONTENTS. 



XI 



powers of soliloquy — Larry Butler, the family farrier, de- PAGE 
scribed — Luminous and veritable account of the ancient col- 
loughs — The facility of the present day — Houyhnhnms and 
Yahoos — Hydrophobia in Ireland, and its method of cure . 197 

KILLING WITH KINDNESS. 

Illustration of the Irish horror of hydrophobia — Thomas Palmer 
of Rushhall, Esq., magistrate and land-agent, etc. — A sub- 
stantial bill of fare — Dan Dempsey of the Pike, is bitten by 
a mad dog — Swearing scholars — Dan smothered — Fate of 
Mr. Palmer himself — Allen Kelly of Portarlington — " New 
Way to Pay Old Debts ■ 204 

SKINNING A BLACK CHILD. 

Lieutenant Palmer and his black servant — The Lieutenant's 
sister marries Mr. George Washington, a " blood relation" of 
the American president — Doctor Bathron, surgeon and grocer 
—His suggestion respecting little Washington — Dr. Knaggs 
called in — The operator's dismay and despair — Final catas- 
trophe of Master Washington . . . . .210 

THE FARRIER AND WHIPPER-IN. 

Tom White, the whipper-in of Blandsfort — An unlucky leap — 
Its consequences — Tom given over by the Faculty — Handed 
to the farrier — Larry Butler's preparations — The actual 
cautery — Ingredients of a " charge n . . . 220 

THE RIVAL PRACTITIONERS. 

Dr. Fletcher, Dr. Mulhall, and the Author's father — Interesting 
particulars of a medical consultation — Family recollections 
— Counsellor, afterward Judge Fletcher — First meeting be- 
tween him and the Author — Catching a Tartar — Sam Doxy 
of the Derrys — Breaks his neck in riding to a Turnpike- 
Board dinner — The apothecary proceeds to show that the 
patient mast, or at least aught to be, dead — An incision, and 
its consequences . . . . . . .226 



xii 



CONTENTS. 



TRANSFUSION OF BLOOD. 

The Irish on the Continent— Slow travelling of remittances — PAGE 
Inconveniences thereof — Sir John Burke of Glinsk — Season- 
able points of curiosity — Prompt satisfaction — Messieurs les 
Creanciers — Sir John's health declines — Given over by the 
faculty generally — Custodiums in Ireland — New mode of 
liquidating a debt — Galway gore — Eeceipt for ennobling the 
bourgeois of Paris — Sir John Burke's marriage and visit to 
Eome — His return — Lady Burke — Glinsk Castle . .236 

SWEARING NO VICE. 

English slang contrasted with Irish imprecation — The chase of 
St. Chrysostom, and his rescue — Meet garnish for a Hiber- 
nian anecdote — Eutile attempts at imitation by English dra- 
matists, etc. — Remarks of a puritan on the Author and his 
book — Michael Heney — Curious dialogue between him and 
the Author — New mode of teaching children filial respect . 250 

A BARRISTER BESIEGED. 

Dinner-party at the Rev. Mr. Thomas's — The author among the 
guests, in company with John Philpot Curran — Speculations 
and reports — Diver, from Newfoundland — His simultaneous 
absence — The house searched — Discovery of a ghost, and its 
metamorphosis into Curran — A curious blockade . .256 

GEORGE ROBERT FITZGERALD. 

George Robert Fitzgerald and Mr. Richard Martin, M.P. for 
Galway — The " Prime Sergeant," Lord Altamont's wolf-dog 
— Shot by Fitzgerald — The circumstance resented by Mr. 
Martin — The latter insulted by his antagonist in the Dublin 
Theatre — Mission of Mr. Lyster to George Robert, and its 
disastrous consequences — Meeting between the principals — 
Fitzgerald receives two shots without injury . . .264 

RECRUITING AT CASTLEBAR. 
Further particulars respecting George Robert Fitzgerald — His 



CONTEXTS. 



Xlll 



band of myrmidons — Proposal made to the Author — He PAGE 
accedes to it — Hospitality at an Irish Inn — Practical joking 
— The Author's success in enlisting George Eobert's outlaws 
— Sergeant Hearn and Corporal O'Mealy — The utility of 
hanks of yarn — Renunciation by the Author of the honours 
of a military life ....... 274 

A NIGHT JOURNEY. 

Mr. Fitzgerald's agent and attorney — Capriciousness of courage 

— New lights — Sailors and saints — Description of Mr. T 

— Regularly retained by Fitzgerald — Starts with him on a 
journey to Turlow — Travelling companions — Double escape 
of the solicitor — His return to Dublin — Mr. Brecknock, his 
successor — Fate of that individual — The "murderer mur- 
dered" 285 

MARTIAL LAW. 

Law in Ireland half-a-centnry ago — Its delay remedied, but not 
its uncertainty — Principal and interest — Eustace Stowell and 
Richard Martin — Valuable precedents — A bloodless duel — 
High Sheriffs and their Subs — Irish method of serving a 
writ — Cases of warranty — Messrs. Reddy Long and Charley 
White — Zeal of a second — Mr. Reddy Long's valuable legacy 
to Sir Jonah Bariington ...... 295 

BULLETIN EXTRAORDINARY. 

The Author and Counsellor Moore laid by the heels at Rock 
House — Dismal apprehensions — A recipe and recovery — The 
races of Castlebar — The Author forms a party to visit the 
spot — Members of the party described — Sergeant Butler and 
the Doctor — Differences of ojnnion — The Sergeant's bulletin 
of the famous battle of Castlebar .... 304 

BREAKFASTS AT BALLINROBE. 

Election for County Mayo — Author and Counsellor Moore at 
Ballinrobe — Mr. Dan Martin's "little paved parlour" — 



xiv 



CONTENTS. 



Preparations for a festive breakfast — A formidable incursion PAGE 
— Counsellor Moore laid prostrate — Secrets worth knowing — 
All's well that ends well . . . . . .313 

NEW MODE OF SERVING- A PEOCESS. 

The Author at Eock House — Gal way election — Searching for 
voters — Mr. Ned Bodkin — Interesting conversation between 
him and the Author — Process-serving in Connemara — Burke, 
the bailiff — Irish method of discussing a Chancer} 7 bill — Ned 
Bodkin's "Lament" — False oaths, and their disastrous con- 
sequences — Country magistrates in Ireland . . .321 

DONNYBEOOK EAIE. 

Donny brook contrasted with St. Bartholomew's — Characteristics 
of the company resorting to each fair — Site upon which the 
former is held — Description and materials of a Donnybrook 
tent — The horse fair — Visit of the Author and Counsellor 
Byrne in 1790 — The "gentle coadjutor" — The "master 
cobbler" — A head in Chancery — Disastrous mishap of 
Counsellor Byrne — The cobbler and his companion — 
Counsellor Byrne and his Doctor — Sir Hercules Langrishe 
and Mr. Dundas — Dysart fair — Various receipts for picking 
a quarrel — Eecent civilisation of the lower classes of 
Emeralders 326 

THE WALKING GALLOWS. 

Brief reflections on the Irish Ee volution of 1798 — Mutual 
atrocities of the Eoyalists and Eebels — Irish humour buoyant 
to the last — O'Connor, the schoolmaster of County Kildare — 
"'Tis well it's no worse" — The Barristers' corps — Its com- 
mander, Lieutenant Hepenstall — Indemnities unjustly ob- 
tained for cruelty against the insurgents — Lieutenant Hepen- 
stall's mode of executing a rebel — His sohriquct, and its 
well-earned application ...... 345 

CONVEESION AND INVERSION. 



Rebel pranks — Caprice of the insurgents — Puns and piking — 



CONTENTS. 



XV 



Archdeacon Elgee — His capture by the rebels — Captain PAGE 
Murphy's harangue and argument — Proposal made to the 
Archdeacon — An " Orange parson" converted into a " green 
priest" — Father Cahill and Father Pat Elgee — Another 
exploit of Captain Murphy — Parson Owen of "Wexford — His 
concealment in a grocer's cockloft — Discovered by the imttlc 
boys — Dragged to a window, and hung therefrom, by his 
heels, over a number of pikes — His delirium, and escape 
through Captain Murphy's humanity — Parson Owen's super- 
induced squint, and consequent nuptials — His lady left a 
widow — Instance of the fatal effects of unpleasant and un- 
expected news ....... 353 

REBEL PORTRAITS. 

Tendency of the imagination to embody character — Its frequent 
errors — Exemplified in the personal traits of several of the 
rebel chiefs of Ireland — The Bretons of La Vendee — Intre- 
pidity of their leaders — The battle of Ross — Gallantry of a 
boy twelve years old — Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey — De- 
scription of his person and character — His habit of joking — 
Dangerous puns — His bewilderment as rebel generalissimo — 
His capture and behaviour at execution — Portrait, physical 
and mental, of Captain Keogh — Remarkable suicide of his 
brother, and his own execution — Mr. Grogan, of Johnstown 
Castle, described — His case, sentence, and execution — Un- 
merited fate of Sir Edward Crosby, Bart. . . 3G4 

REMINISCENCES OF WIT. 

Wit distinguished from ribaldry — Chief Baron Yelverton and 
Mr. Curran — Chief Justice Clonmell — Lord Xorbury's com- 
prehensive powers — Sir Hercules Langrishe and his digres- 
sions in claret-drinking — Jervis Parker Bushe, Chief Baron 
Burgh, etc. — Peculiar traits of Irish convivial society in the 
Author's day — Jeremiah Keller — Lord Clare's funeral — A 
scanty fee — The Pope and Pretender — Counsellor Norcott's 
talent of mimicry — Ballinlaw Ferry — Caesar Colclough, of 
Duffry Hall, and Julius Caesar . . . . .373 



XVI CONTENTS. 



COUNSELLOR LYSAGHT. 

Edward Lysaght, Esq., barrister-at-law — His peculiar talents — PAOE 
A song of his contrasted with, one of Moore's on the same 
subject — Ounagh and Mary — Pastoral poetry — " The Devil 
in the Lantern" — A love story — " We're a' noddin" — Sketch 
of Mr. Solomon Salmon and his daughter — Mr. Lysaght's 
nuptials with the latter — Sociality at Somer's Town — A 
morning call — "All is not gold that glitters" — Death of the 
Counsellor and his lady . . . . . 382 

FATALITIES OF MAEEIAGE. 

Speculations of the Author on free-agency and predestination — 
A novel theory — The matrimonial ladder — Advice to young 

lovers — A ball in Dublin — Unexpected arrival of Lord G ■ 

— His doom expressed — Marries the author's niece — Eemarks 

on his lordship's character . . . . . .391 

A WEDDING IN OLDEN DAYS. 

Changes in the nuptial ceremony in Ireland — Description of the 
ancient formula — Throwing the stocking — A lucky hit — 
Reverse of the picture — Modern marriages — Coming of age — 
Nuptials of the Author's eldest brother — Personal description 
of the bride and bridegroom — The coach of ceremony — The 
travelling chaise — A turnpike dispute — Convenient temporary 
metamorphosis of the Author and two of his brothers — A 
desperate lover — Disasters and blunders — Major Tennyson 
Edwards — His fortunate escape . . . . .396 

THE LAST OE THE GEEALDINES. 

Principles of domestic government discussed — How to rule a 
husband — Elizabeth Fitzgerald of Moret Castle — Brings her 
son to see his father hanged by the Cahills — Mysterious 
disappearance of four of the Cahills — Mr. Jemmy Corcoran — 
Way of identifying a skeleton — Father Doran and his 
spiritual theory — Squire Stephen Fitzgerald the son, and 
Squire Stephen Fitzgerald the grandson, of Elizabeth — The 



CONTENTS. 



xvii 



several members of his family described — Tom, the heir- PAGE 
apparent — A short life and a merry one — Jack, his successor 
— Moret Castle in its modern state — Miss Dolly Fitzgerald 
and her sister Fanny — Matrimonial speculations, etc. . 414 

HANGING AN ATTORNEY BY ACCIDENT. 

The attorneys' corps of yeomanry, and their strange appellation 
— Eccentric loyalty in Dublin — The Fogies — Sir John Ferns 
and his anti-rebel resolve — Aide-de-Camp Potterton — Process 
of suspension — Attorney "Walker's participation in the 
captive's lot — The attorney relieved from his situation — 
Conclusion of the day's adventures .... 432 

FLOGGING THE AYINE-COOPERS. 

Account of the flagellation undergone by the two coopers — Their 
application to the Author for redress — Tit for tat, or giving 
back the compliment — Major Connor, and his disinclination 
for attorneys — His brother, Arthur Connor . . . 447 

THE ENNISCORTHY BOAR. 

Incidents attending the first assault of "Wexford by the rebels, 
in 1798 — Excesses mutually committed by them and the 
royalists — Father Roche — Captain Hay, and his gallant 
rescue of two ladies — Mr. O'Connell in bygone days — Pain- 
ful but ludicrous scenes after the conflict at "Wexford — 
Swinish indignity offered to a clergyman — A pig of rapid 
growth — Remarks on London curiosities — Remarkable suc- 
cess of the Enniscorthy boar — L'nhappy disclosure of the 
animal's previous enormities — His Majesty's comments on 
the affair — Death of the swinish offender . . . 449 



SIR JONAH BARRINGTON'S 
PERSONAL SKETCHES. 



IEISH WIT AND HOIOUB. 
By the Editor. 

The Irish are not wittier than other people, but they are happier 
in having their wit at hand, and on slight occasions. 

This essay is intended to be a modest record of passing jokes 
as illustrative of our national bent ; the philosopher will see that 
our wish to be happy is predominant. I do not desire to enter 
into the minute disquisitions of Quintilian or Campbell. The 
whole subject seems to be within the scope of a few sentences, 
which the reader will be more pleased with than if I quoted 
twenty pages. 

Without entering into any subtleties of distinction, the prin- 
cipal species of wit may be safely intrusted to three well under- 
stood popular terms — Wit properly so called, humour, and 
drollery. Amongst these you may distribute as you please the 
wolf — Pun. Irish bulls have no just claim on my attention at 
present, even if I had time to bestow it on them ; but the critical 
observations, however curt, simple, and free from pedantic nicety, 
which are necessary to preserve this essay from the reproach of 
reading from a jest-book, fortunately deprive me of the oppor- 
tunity of discussing many matters that are, it is to be regretted, 
too popular and too ready to the hand of those who shine in 
confusing the human understanding. A little philosophy keeps 
mirth fresh and respectable. It rewards attention by improving 
reason ; while buffoonery is a real though sly satire on the taste 
and intelligence of its admirers. 

VOL. II. B 



2 



barrington's personal sketches 



Of the species mentioned there are several genera, which are 
readily recognised by the terms denoting them, although the 
features of individuals under them are not easily contra-distin- 
guished by the tints of words. Thus, we have grave and moral 
wit, caustic and festive ; so we have humour — gay, light, broad, 
jocose, comic, satirical. Drollery is rather an inferior sort of 
humour than a separate kind. In connection with those terms 
are many others whose boundaries we need not determine, such 
as pleasantry, dicacity, urbanity, etc. 

It is now time to inquire on what does wit depend ? What are 
its sources, its causes, its components ? How does it act ? What 
are its effects ? The answering of these questions has given em- 
ployment to some of the critics and metaphysicians of ancient 
times as well as of modern. As a minute account or discussion 
would be out of place, I shall be as brief yet as clear as possible. 

The little I shall say respecting these matters is essential to 
your greater gratification. You cannot fairly accuse me of delay 
while preparing your taste for the better discernment of the things 
with which you are to be entertained. You will soon see that I 
aim at enlarging your capacity for enjoyment — for our subject is 
not in the ordinary course of reading ; if I aim at doing this, 
you will assuredly not complain of getting tired. At all events 
I shall strive to avert your censure by informing you that the 
elegant Quintilian devotes several pages to the analysis of wit, 
and that these pages can be dull only to the dull, and tedious 
only to the novel-reader who reads every day with complacency 
ten pages that could be better written in one. 

To what Quintilian has left us, not much of any importance 
has been added since ; but we may confine ourselves to the more 
familiar writings of the moderns. All agree in opinion that the 
chief cause of wit is the comparison of ideas, and the introduc- 
tion and fit application of strange and unexpected images. Ac- 
cordingly, surprise, comparison, contrast, figure, have been con- 
sidered as the chief constituents of wit. We can assent to this, 
without being fully satisfied. Indeed, I am by no means satisfied 
with Dr. Campbell's disquisition in his Philosophy of Rhetoric, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



3 



nor with Sydney Smith's elaborate review of Edgeworth's Essay 
on Irish Bulls. Both are narrow in their views, and indistinct 
in giving them expression. I cannot help thinking that Smith 
never read the Eoman ; for if he had, assuredly more of his 
matter would have been transferred through the careful English 
page. 

Addison says that wit is often produced, not by the resem- 
blance but by the opposition of ideas. Sydney Smith observes 
that " wit discovers real relations that are not apparent." Dr. 
Campbell writes thus : — " The materials employed by wit, in the 
grotesque pieces she exhibits, are partly derived from those com- 
mon fountains of whatever is directed to the imaginative powers ; 
the ornaments of elocution ; and the oratorical figures, simile, 
apostrophe, antithesis, and metaphor." Now all this is true 
enough, but supplies a very defective analysis of wit. There is 
a general concurrence of opinion that surprise, as cause or effect, 
is essential to wit. " Of so much consequence," writes Campbell, 
"are surprise and novelty, that nothing is more tasteless and 
sometimes disgusting than a joke which has become stale by fre- 
quent repetition." This is very loose criticism. What is said 
refers to the effects of repetition, and not to the merits of the 
joke. Besides, the author flies from wit to joke, by a rapid de- 
scent through an immense distance. Yet he may have meant 
no more than Smith means when he lays it down as an axiom 
that " the essence of every species of wit is surprise." There is 
not a great deal more to be learned from modern authorities. 
"What has been quoted is, in the main, true ; but it is not quite 
explicit, and is exposed to some exceptions. 

True wit is so easy and natural that it creates little surprise. 
The truth is, as there are many varieties of wit, so there must be 
a variety of characteristic principles. These are to be discovered 
by examining a large number of true instances. It will then be 
seen that those characteristics can be grouped ; yet in grouping 
them we should be guided rather by the principle of natural 
affinity than by a forced identity. 

What has been observed of wit is, with certain modifications, 



4 



barrington's personal sketches 



applicable to humour ; drollery and pun are, with respect to 
commentary, beyond my reach at present. To follow these sub- 
jects through all their bearings would be impossible save in an 
express and bulky volume. All that can be done is to take 
a good view of prominent objects ; and to make long strides, but 
to hasten leisurely. It is now the proper moment to introduce 
the predominating feature of every species and kind of wit — 
whether moral or philosophic, sarcastic or ironical, smart repartee 
or elegant compliment ; for there is a true criticism of wit which 
may be abstracted from all its peculiar attributes and charac- 
teristics. 

This criterion is point — which needs neither definition, nor 
description, nor discussion. ISTo more is necessary to be said 
than that wit without point is like a needle in the same predica- 
ment — not deserving of the name. 

There are numerous examples of wit which cannot be pro- 
nounced surprising. Thus, a lady presiding at tea, of high 
reputation for a stingy teapot, observed to a guest that Mr. 
Gladstone did a great deal of good by reducing the tax on tea. 
" He would have done a great deal more good/' was the gentle- 
man's reply, " if he had put on water what he had taken off tea." 

Point, however, cannot exist without truth and accuracy in all 
the bearings ; symmetry and harmony of conveyance ; purity and 
temper in the material. The presence or absence of those 
characters is what constitutes the often delicate distinction be- 
tween true wit and false ; the former of which is as scarce as 
diamonds, the latter as abundant as glass bugles. 

Comparison is an abundant source of pleasure ; and it 
is in a state of perpetual activity, even in those moments 
when we believe ourselves thinking of nothing. There are 
but few examples of wit independent of the relation which may 
be established between two different ideas ; or, which is the 
same thing, between two different phases of the same idea. You 
may wish to take exception to this form of expression, yet it 
conveys what the argument requires. These set comparison in 
motion, and thus comparison becomes intimately connected with 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



5 



wit But as one at least of those ideas or images is due to 
imagination, we must conclude that it is in imagination we are 
to find the real origin of wit ; a term which is accordingly ap- 
plied, especially in the older writers, to poets and poesy, and all 
the nobler productions of the mind. 

I shall lay down the thread of the argument for a while to 
introduce a few illustrations by way of refreshment. I have 
provided none better. One of the prettiest similes in the world 
is Sir John Suckling's, from The Wedding — 

" Her feet beneath her petticoat, 
Like little mice stole in and out, 
As if they feared the light." 

■ La, what is this like ?" asked Bessy Martin, on being handed 
a bunch of lavender, cut very short. " Like yourself — short and 
sweet," exclaimed Phil, who was in lavender ever after in that 
direction. The day before " the consummation of all things," 
Phil — she used to call him Philomel — or Philip le Bel — or Xasty 
Phil — an amputation he often helped her to perforin ; well, 
Philip espied the lavender in her work-box. u Tis as short as 
ever," said Phil ; u but not half so sweet as you are now? " You 
were very witty," was Bessy's grave reply, u when I understood 
you. I hope this will be the last time you will say any fine 
things. We must be wise the rest of our lives ; and talk of 
bread and butter." All this is wit, sun, and soul ! 

In his mock-heroic poem, The Dispensary, Sir S. Garth has 
a simile which, though a long one, is well sustained. He com- 
pares hydrops, or the dropsy, to a miser ; and insatiable avarice, 
to the feverish thirst often experienced in that disease : — 

" The hydrops next appears among the throng, 
Bloated and big she slowly sails along ; 
But like a miser in excess she's poor, 
And pines for thirst amid her watery store." 

Of Shell's wit I have heard mention but once. It was by 
Purcell O'Gorman, whom I met at Lord Xorbury's auction. The 
conversation was accidental ; but the punning celebrity gave 



6 



barrington's personal sketches 



it a turn, of which I can give some account. There lived a 
gentleman in Merrion Square, who had little to divide among a 
bevy of daughters but the mamma's beauty and his pedigree. 
Papa allowed the young birds perfect freedom, with perfect 
safety ; for they were perfectly trained. Notwithstanding our 
supply, we are aware that the competition in the market of 
beauty is dreadful. This, that, and the other, sent in his tender ; 
but as the lowest was not binding, the contracts lay open for a 
long time. The expectations of the fascinating parties tran- 
scended even their charms. The gossip concerning their im- 
portant affairs slipped one evening into conversation at Shell's. 

" I know for certain," said one of the party, " that E , who is 

making already two thousand a-year, and is sure of a silk gown, 
has had a flat refusal. They'll never be caught who will not 
catch." " Ay will they," observed Sheil ; like butterflies that 
soar too high in the day, they'll be caught in the evening with- 
out an effort." Sheil's figure is a good specimen of poetical wit. 
I mean the figure of speech, not the speeching figure ; which 
some of us remember was neither Apollo's nor Endymion's. 

In the introduction an undercurrent of thought conducts 
me towards observations of some interest, and which may as 
well find utterance now as by-and-by. In a general way 'tis 
as easy to account for the disappearance of the year's wit at the 
year's end as for that of the year's pins. They are lost, and so 
is the wit, for want of a pincushion. But there are items that 
cannot be so easily accounted for. Notwithstanding their defects, 
the records of wit are copious enough to lead us to expect in 
them many examples of the best quality ; whereas it is admitted 
that proportionally they present only a few. And again, how 
lamentably scanty are the memorials of men, notorious for a flow 
of wit in their time. The explanation seems to be this : — Al- 
though men of genius are not always men of wit, still it is 
amongst them that wits of the highest order are found. The fine 
touches of such masters often pass unobserved, like those of 
Titian or Guido ; while the ruder strokes of others fail not to be 
noticed, like the bold broad pencil of Spagnoletto or Sassoferato. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



7 



Delicate wit is perceptible only to delicate sensibilities; and 
these are much more rare than egotism will ever be persuaded of. 
We are quite free to acknowledge that nothing milder than fiery 
pickle will create the saline sensation in some palates ; but we 
recoil from the proposition that attic salt requires an attic palate ; 
for we all believe that silk or broadcloth refines the mucous 
membrane. Many, with the hide of a rhinoceros, fancy them- 
selves exposed to perpetual abrasion from bees' wings and 
gossamer. 

Besides, much that may not escape immediate observation 
fades from the memory. The good things of an evening, for 
want of the pincushion, scarcely outlive their delivery. Even the 
impressions of rattling humour are fugitive. What is to become 
of the tremulous osculations of airy wit ? They are as evanescent 
as the music heard in dreams. So transitory are the flashes of 
wit, that unless they be photographed at the moment of cor- 
ruscation, they run the risk of being lost for ever. Hence it is 
that so little remains of Curran ; and so very little to correspond 
with his reputation. The traditions are almost discreditable to 
his name ; and the same may be said of Swift and Sheridan. 
Our loss is great, for we have reason to know they were prodigal 
of their peculiar wealth. 

From Dr. Thomas Hill of Harcourt Street, formerly Eegius 
Professor of Medicine in Trinity College, Dublin, I have had a 
token of Curran not unworthy the mint. In a discussion con 
cerning the relations of colour and figure with the beautiful, 
Curran was asked for his opinion, and answered, " I am not sure 
that colour is essential to beauty ; but I know it is the chief 
ornament of modesty. I am one of the awkward squad, and no 
authority ; but, pointing to the youthful and blooming Miss 
Ponsonby, go to head- quarters, and let beauty and modesty 
speak for themselves." 

This reminds me of a fine piece of polished drollery extem- 
porised by a country priest. O'Connell, in a romantic oath, had 
just pledged the beauty of the women of Kilkenny, at a banquet 
where it mustered strong. Beside him stood one of its fairest 



8 



barrington's personal sketches 



specimens ; towards whom, as he significantly turned, the priest 
cried out, " I think you should kiss the book, Mr. 0' Conn ell ! " 

Although this jocular observation does not indicate great re- 
sources, it is nevertheless witty and graceful. Cicero would 
certainly have put it in the class of dicacity ; and if we were 
often enlivened by such sallies, I fear that attempts in this place 
would be exposed to a dangerous fastidiousness. 

When I laid it down as a proposition that imagination is the 
genuine origin of wit, the conclusion at which I arrived was this : 
— The proximate cause is the comparison of ideas; the nearness 
or distance of the images, or illustrations ; the suggesting of 
singular and felicitous affinities. That is, I arrived at an ad- 
mitted truth ; so that my speculations have not been subtle 
enough to set me astray. 

What has been said with respect to imagination may be con- 
sidered as equally applicable to poetry. Granted ; but it is not 
rendered thereby indispensable, as we shall see by considering 
points of qualification and distinction. True wit is generally, 
but not always, poetical. When Swift, to account for the little 
use made of Marsh's Public Library, said, " Make knowledge as 
cheap as ditch-water, and it will be treated as ditch-water," he 
was witty, but not poetical. Such examples may be greatly 
multiplied ; and therefore what has been said is pertinent and 
necessary. Moreover, we must distinguish between poetry pro- 
perly so called, and what is merely poetical. To poetry we must 
attribute peculiar numbers, style, and expression. Now we do 
not circumscribe wit by such limitations. If anything be said 
of the one should be also applicable to the other, it is not there- 
fore superfluous, since the two are different things ; and the 
application is susceptible of being properly restricted, and 
directed through a special channel. 

If all that could be said of poetry could likewise be said of 
wit, then every piece of wit would be a short poem. This, it is 
plain, would be going too far. If all that could be said of wit 
could likewise be said of poetry, then every poem would be 
witty, which would be equally absurd. One of the best poems 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



9 



of any age, almost equal to the Georgics in grandeur and 
strength, and superior in variety and tenderness, the production 
of a man of more exquisite festivity of genius than Virgil 
himself — The Deserted Village — presents but very few verses 
bordering in the least on that humour of which Goldsmith was 
so great a master. Conversely, one of the wittiest pieces in our 
language — Swift's Verses on his own Death — is not allowed by 
Thomas Campbell, perhaps the best formal critic since Johnson, 
to be poetry at all. And in his opinion I acquiesce with re- 
luctance. 

To wit should be assigned some particular feature ; some- 
thing to mark it out in the progeny of imagination ; some mole 
or beauty-spot that will enable us to recognise it from other 
offspring of the same stock. Sydney Smith says, " The less 
apparent and the more complete the relations established by 
wit, the higher gratification does it afford a sentiment already 
referred to, but now more clearly expressed. He also lays it 
down that " the essence of every species of wit is surprise." To 
this add the testimony of the author of the Philosophy of Rhetoric, 
— u Of so much consequence here are surprise and novelty, that 
nothing is more tasteless and sometimes disgusting, than a joke 
which has become stale by frequent repetition.'' The same 
author subjoins, " Wit and humour indulge a tendency to provoke 
laughter, by exhibiting a curious and unexpected affinity." I 
lay stress only on the terms curious and surprising, novel and 
unexpected. What is said as to the effects of repetition goes for 
nothing. Repetition wears the hearer, not the joke, which 
always remains the same. Its pungency is not gone for ever, 
like soda-water, on the drawing of the cork. Too much 
familiarity breeds contempt. By repetition the merriest airs 
lose their relish — with some notable exceptions, such as " The 
Groves of Blarney," " Haste to the Wedding," and " Jenny dang 
the Weaver." There is a remarkable exception, that old duet — 
* The Kiss," which holds its ground with rare pertinacity. 

Sydney Smith's dictum, as expressed, is not correct. Sur- 
prise is not an essence, but an emotion ; and an emotion, 



10 



barrington's personal sketches 



moreover, may be agreeable or disagreeable according to the 
exciting cause. At all events, instead of novelty, which is too 
slight and trifling a term, and of surprise, which converts the 
effect into the cause, I would prefer strangeness or singularity 
as the leading characteristic of wit. And I believe it is by this 
very homely feature that it is best known to us all. 

We must, however, observe that some of the finest strokes 
of wit are so natural as to excite little or no surprise. " I am 
told they will cut off my head if your Majesty sends me," said 
the ambassador to Louis. " If they do," replied the king, " I'll 
have the head of every Englishman in my dominions cut off 
too." " Not one of them all may be found to fit my shoulders, 
please your Majesty," was the cool observation, in which 
nothing very surprising is observable, although the wit is 
striking enough. A gentleman who had been helped to the 
bare head of a sole, and who had never heard of the ambassa- 
dor's shrewd remark, presented his plate to the host, with " I 
should like to see how the shoulders fitted this bald head." 
Our muscles were not taken by surprise, but they were agitated 
wonderfully nevertheless. " I hope I don't intrude," said a 
rotund mass entering a railway carriage of a very hot day. 
" Well, we have only room for about half of you," exclaimed a 
fair sister of rival dimensions. "Thanks to you for that, 
ma'am." "That's because you speak ex cathedra, ma'am." 
" You have the advantage of me, ma'am," was the prompt but 
not surprising rejoinder, yet the emphasis on advantage did not 
leave the double entendre a moment in suspense. Here one 
flash succeeded another like lightning without any perceptible 
surprise. Indeed, what may be called our domestic wit, which 
is often truly brilliant, partakes rarely of the electric character. 
It resembles more the ordinary bubble of a spring than the 
sudden shock of a torpedo. Whoever recollects the unforeseen 
promptitude of a thistle as he smelt the new-mown wisp, or 
the expected impromptu of a cold shower-bath with 80° in the 
shade ; or whoever experienced a flop of a wet sponge in the 
middle of a balmy doze, or the allocution of a literary lord- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



11 



deputy at an agricultural banquet, will never trust much to 
surprise for amusement. I do not, however, mean to deny that 
surprise does not produce amusement. It often does, and fre- 
quently when wit of any kind or calibre is entirely absent. 
What a roar from the knaves at the corner when Hodge lets 
drop the heated horse-shoe ! What fun Dizzy had when he 
found an old fool left him £40,000 for his civility to the 
Israelites ! Dr. Whately would furnish examples without end. 

If I sell the whole of the argument to the diversion, you 
may as well have Toole to write, or any other performer on 
the human understanding. 

The surprising is not a fast colour. It generally runs out 
in the hot water of criticism. It sometimes leaves the wit 
behind, and sometimes nothing more than Paddy Blake left his 
creditors — a copy of his Unwritten Visions. Surprise, from its 
very nature, cannot long be the concomitant of wit. It cannot 
be always fresh ; but it is too much to say that the wit ceases 
when its freshness ceases. Wit is entitled generally to some 
indulgence, and it usually receives a large share. To test it we 
should not have recourse to torture. In general we are disposed 
to receive it kindly ; and where there is most taste it is most 
welcome. " Wherever there is taste," writes Campbell, " the 
witty and the humorous make themselves perceived, and pro- 
duce their effect instantaneously ; but they are of so subtle a 
nature they will hardly bear to be touched, much less to undergo 
a strict analysis and scrutiny." Now true wit — we speak of 
true and false wit — will bear a very severe test — in my opinion, 
the severest ; whereas those images which create a sudden 
surprise are such as are likely to lose much reputation on being 
sifted. They share the fate of gentlemen who figure some time 
upon flash where they are not known, and are noisy in strange 
hotels, but who disappear upon inquiry. In suggesting the 
adoption of singularity or strangeness in lieu of surprise and 
novelty, I do not aim at being a reformer of nomenclature ; it is 
enough for me to show that the latter terms are so objectionable 
that we ought to welcome any that are less so. Nomenclature 



12 



barrington's personal sketches 



is, in some subjects, surrounded with difficulties ; for instance, 
in grammar not one part of speech has a name with any mean- 
ing ; nor have we ever been able to name correctly any tense 
but the present. Logically, we can speak of the past and future, 
but these terms are mere tints in grammar. 

Although an image or illustration is one of the ordinary 
components of wit, it is not invariably so, at least directly and 
bodily. The figurative part is, instead of being clearly visible, 
barely hinted, and often so grudgingly that it would be a pity 
to discover it. Sometimes it is curiously hidden, as it were on 
the back of the leaf, like a butterfly's nest ; and little will be 
got by looking for it. Where an illustration is entirely wanting, 
the wit is generally of the humorous genus, as we have seen in 
the conversation between the fat couple in the railway carriage. 
" Yery indigestible," ejaculated Eabelais, as the lampreys 
were laid before the archbishop, who, being a dyspeptic, ordered 
them away. " Beach them here," cried the doctor, who was 
excessively fond of them. The butler complied, and Eabelais 
fell to, to the great astonishment of the divine, who naturally 
observed, " I thought I heard you exclaiming durissimum, most 
indigestible." a 'Twas of the dish I was speaking, my lord, not 
of the lampreys," cried the wit. There is here no new image 
introduced, nor any metaphorical allusion ; and notwithstand- 
ing it is a bit of practical jocularity. I am not so sour as to 
reject its pretension to true wit. Sancroft, who had refused to 
officiate at Mary's coronation, received a message from her, 
previously to the ceremony, to request his blessing. " Tell 
her," answered the venerable primate, " to get her father's first." 
But an example of this kind would not be called wit by Sydney 
Smith. According to his views, the dignity of tone and sub- 
limity of sentiment would exclude it. I think he pushes this 
matter much too far. 

The real beauty of wit is in its point. This expression is 
used in two different senses. In one it is applied to the weapon 
itself; in the other to the aim given to it. Wit may be 
well threaded with its argument, but the argument never gets 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



13 



through without the point. Without the point the weapon is 
not entitled to its name. It is the penetrating power which 
affects the intellectual perceptions and functions, and the moral 
sentiments and sensitive emotions. The point of wit depends 
chiefly on the appositeness and delicacy of the comparison in- 
stituted between the images brought together ; and the natural 
remoteness of these improves the whet of collision. If there be 
no express image, it depends upon some felicity of turn in the 
fundamental idea, or some fine and imperceptible allusion, the 
creation of the accr spiritus ct vis; of that energy and vivacity 
which are the attributes of genius, and which give to every 
species of true wit a mode independent of the drift. 

By vivacity, I mean that special power of winning, of 
pleasing, or of diverting, which is as sure a sign of wit as 
the three balls are of avunculism. The contemplation of 
this power so greatly captivated the sedate Dr. Isaac Barrow, 
who taught Newton the conic sections, that he has devoted 
sundry long comic sections to define its properties. You will 
find the passage in Half-Hours with the Best Authors; but 
you will not be greatly illuminated by it. This vivacity does 
not necessarily produce laughter, but only that degree of anima- 
tion which the physiologists have denominated u a disturbance 
or perturbation of the spirits." Such is Barrow's and George 
Campbell's phraseology — quaint but expressive. The latter 
discriminates in this way — " Sublimity elevates ; beauty 
charms ; wit diverts. The first enraptures, dilates the soul ; 
the second diffuseth over it a serene delight ; the third tickles 
the fancy, and throws the spirits into an agreeable vibration ;" 
which, I suppose, we may liken to the undulation of a ray under 
the wand of the gentle Ariel. 

By energy is intended any force or vigour which cannot be 
confounded with vivacity, as it has been defined, but which 
gives velocity and momentum to the thought, which furnishes 
it with wings, or which drives it onward as the gale does the 
barque ; or which imparts to it strength, invincibility, boldness, 
and agility. Of the various terms to which allusion was made 



14 



BAEllINGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



in the beginning — such as grave, moral, caustic, etc., as applied 
to wit and its congeners — any interpretation would be now 
superfluous. They are descriptive of accidents, not of essen- 
tials ; so, for their sakes, we need no longer defer the engage- 
ment. 

In the Trench Academy the hat went round in aid of the 
family of a deceased member. The cure of Notre Dame held 
the hat, and began with the president, the Archbishop of Paris, 
who was notorious as a crusty customer. The cure, finishing 
his circuit, presented, by mistake, the hat a second time to the 
president, and received for answer — " Monsieur, I gave my 
donation before ; you may believe it ; Monsieur Lafontaine here 
saw it." " Yes," cried the poet, " I saw it, my lord, but did not 
believe it !" 

We take drollery to be funnier than humour. I once asked 
a youngster the difference between farther and further. " Farther, 
he replied, " is the comparative of far, and further is farther 
than that." Humour is droll ; but what is droller than humour 
we call drollery. This comparison, though you won't believe 
me at present, is not droll; but the ground I have built on 
really is. The young Aristotles of Master Morgan's class ac- 
knowledged it with an instantaneous titter ; and he was saluted 
ever after as Morgan Battler. But how comes it that we are 
amused with this paralogy ? It is the attempt which pleases us. 
We recognise such attempts with infinite complacency, and purr 
like a cat when rubbed down softly. This accounts for the 
amazing success of bad puns. There is no kind of wit so egotis- 
tically participated in as pim. Every one by deems the jeu de 
mot personally intended for his delectation, and treats it politely. 
The more murderous the attempt, the greater seems the sacrifice 
for your merriment ; and the audacity is liberally rewarded. 
There is always something of the ridiculous in failure ; and the 
ridiculous, by prescription, has always the laugh on its side. 
So, in the punning trade, the greater the failure the greater the 
success ; and in other trades too, if we can believe all we hear. 

I was not disposed to take notice of puns, but the oppor- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



15 



tunity coaxed me. ISTor do I regret to proclaim the justice of a 
general toleration of all puns, good and bad, but not indifferent, 
and the abolition of tests, and of impediments — except dinner. 
In this department of science I have made a discovery, which, 
as I do not mean to protect it by patent, may as well be let loose 
here. I have seen fellows open in the love line, and doing a 
good business on a small capital, utterly ruin their prospects by 
over-dealing in puns. I pray you avoid it. Pirn and sentiment 
are hereditary foes ; and, in courtship, he who does not take a 
sound physiological view of a young lady's feelings will never 
go snacks. 

It is curious to observe in what a small radical stock origi- 
nates the numerous progeny of puns. In this respect, punning 
resembles what the old grammarians considered to be a perfect 
language ; that is, a language whose entire vocabulary, though ever 
so copious, may be referred to, or derived from, a few primitive 
roots. Thus, Greek, a most comprehensive tongue, has held the 
first place as a perfect language, for it is reducible to a dozen 
vocables not more significant, or insignificant, just as you please, 
than the puffs of a half-burned bellows. On this principle 
punning wit is attic wit cum grano salis ; for twenty thousand 
puns at least are manufactured from air, hot, fine, coarse, sharp, 
tight, and spirit. I shall not decide on the humanity of the tor- 
tures practised in the manufacture, for in prospect of the total abo- 
lition of capital punishment all hope of a remedy is at an end. 

I am ignorant how modern nosologists deal with punning ; 
whether they consider it a cutaneous disease or a brain-fever, an 
itch or a congestion. It is admitted to be as infectious as in- 
curable, and that all sanitary precautions are worse than useless, 
except deafness alone, or perhaps congenital idiocy. In most 
cases, from the way it runs, it has evidently the appearance of a 
softening of the cerebellum, which is corroborated by the helium 
internecinum always observable as the result of an overflow at a 
social congress of the afflicted. Instances, however, are not un- 
common where the most superficial diagnosis will immediately 
detect local irritation, or some obscure capillary attraction barely 



16 



barkington's personal sketches 



sufficient to draw a brash. Here Hollo way's ointment may be 
tried, if all the fat has not gone in the fire. In other cases the 
itch is decided, and begets a scrape. This eruption leaves no 
doubt as to the existence of subcutaneous inflammation, the best 
application for which is a counter-irritant to bring the pustules 
to a head. We should rather forward the symptoms than keep 
them back, and help nature by friendly fomentations without 
openly adding fuel to the fire. Immediately close the windows, 
and put on the gas, for a high temperature wonderfully promotes 
the discussion of lazy tumours. Dr. Samuel Johnson — clarum 
et venerabile nomen — the eternal terror of all quacks, was the 
first to discover the connection between pneumonia and klepto- 
mania. I apprehend pneumonia in his time presented phases 
not observable now. I never saw a punster pick a pocket, but 
I have seen him pick a quarrel more than once. 

Two young gentlemen, one red with hair, but both green 
and unreserved, who had just been gazetted to the same regi- 
ment, but had no previous intimacy, met among a little group 
of juvenile Hannibals like themselves. " What do you say to 
that Cayenne?" asked one, with more meaning than the other 
perceived. " My name is Pepper, sir," was the rejoinder, at 
once cold and hot, like a snowball in summer. " Off with your 
castor, and let's see whether red or black." We escaped a row 
by a hair's-breadth. 

Few speculations have caused me more uneasiness than the 
reticence — is that the correct word ? — of ladies respecting puns. 
I once suspected my hostess's patronage. I thought she had 
been trotting me out ; and put forth a feeler, with, " I wonder, 
madam, you, to whom it would be no trouble, never make a 
pun yourself." She answered severely, " I have no notion, sir, to 
make myself so ridiculous !" This shot was fired from the maga- 
zine of the early-closing movement, and up my shutters went. As 
I related the adventure to Andrew Oulton, he thus requited me : 
— "'Miss Williams,' said I, 'why don't you try a pun?' 'Thank 
you,' said she, ' I'd rather try a custard !' I handed a custard. 
I had been doing my best to make her interested in me ; and, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



17 



thinking this bad pay, I was bent on mischief. Accordingly I 
began simply, ' May I ask why, Miss Williams ? ' 1 Well,' said 
she, still more simply, ' I always find something in a custard ; 
but, to be candid with you, I could never find anything in a 
pun.' This was a stunner, but not the catastrophe. 1 May not 
the fault lie with you ?' said I, in a tone peevish in spite of me. 
1 1 fear not/ said she, with a deadly shake on the word fear ; * I 
do not know of any one who has a taste for the insipid.' This 
was a morceau I had no relish for ; and it cured my taste for 
the service for a full twelvemonth. Had I been in possession 
of the antecedents, I had not lost a year's life. She was a blue- 
stocking and a wit ; but being totally devoid of the genius for 
punning, she hated its practitioners, and was always concocting 
their discomfit. What I took for simplicity was premeditation 
and spleen. The next time we met she was vexatiously friendly; 
but her beauty would shiver Gibraltar ; and I behaved prettily. 
Among other things, she informed me — what I didn't care — that 
she heard I had given up punning, and asked gaily how I did 
without it. ' Well,' said I, ' I miss it.' f I have not heard any 
one else complain, thank God!' shouted she, with a laugh that 
rang through my ears like the shriek of Cocytus. Nothing re- 
mained for me but to join the uproar, mount the guns, and 
re-open the batteries as speedily as possible. As we were break- 
ing up she gave me her hand. 1 1 had a full swing to-night,' 
cried I exultingly. ' And tired yourself and the children, no 
doubt,' she added, with an honest smile, which cured the sar- 
casm, and me of the presumption to deprive wit and learning of 
their fair opportunities in company, and of the folly of becoming 
as great a nuisance as rotten fish, for the sake of shining." If 
there be any obstinate punster here, let him meditate on this 
unique anecdote. His — but not now ! — utere mecum. 

Taking them in the lump, determined drolls and punsters are 
a harmless fraternity. Of the former there can be no doubt ; but 
of the latter we must make a short inquisition. An ill-natured 
punster must be at cross-purposes with all mankind. He would 
have to exist in society as in the crater of a volcano, not know- 

VOL. II. C 



18 



barrington's personal sketches 



ing the moment lie would be expelled, consumed, or devoured. 
As, however, their toleration is matter of notoriety, the matter of 
their disease must be innocuous, in a vital sense. There is, to 
be sure, nothing to hinder a bad temper from perpetrating a joke, 
and no more to prevent an evil heart from seeming kind than a 
rotten egg from seeming sound. Norbury has often been inno- 
cently witty. As he was passing into the court, he stumbled, 
and would have had a bad fall had I not caught him. " Thank 
you, lad ; who are you V he blubbered. "A fortune-hunter." " A 
fortune-teller would be better." " Mieu que 9a," said I, " a teller 
of the exchequer. Eeally I do not yet know ; a student, and 
that's nothing/' I was starting off. " Hold, hold ; can I do any- 
thing for you?" "Don't hang me, my lord." "Hang me if I 
don't give you a lift, if I can ; call on me." I made the conge. 
I knew a very close-fisted attorney who made a charitable pun 
that cost him a shilling. He was doing some business with Mr. 
Josiah Dunne, upon whom I waited on behalf of a brother-in-law 
whose case was one of dilapidation. Mr. D. handed me a pound, 
which I left on the table as a nest-egg, while plying the other 
covey. He was versed in the hackneyed parries of the hard- 
hearted, most of which preclude a civil reply. I drove him, how- 
ever, to the humanitarian's dernier resort — "Every man knows best 
what to do with his money." " But" said I, " if every man knew 
what best to do with his money, no man would want ; and want 
least a solicitor." Then, pointing to the note, I continued — "You 
think that lost ; I think it a pound gained ! " Whereupon he 
thrust his hand into his pocket, and before I had time to chuckle 
over my marvellous eloquence, he pressed his thumb on the 
pound, and drew forth my zealous "Bravo !" "There," said he 
with an ominous simper, "there, I'll make it, at all events, a 
pound — one ! " He raised the thumb ; I had no necessity to 
look at the white sovereign, but seizing it and my hat, exclaimed, 
" Josiah will help a brother." 

Drollery suffers by relation more than any other sort of wit. 
Ordinarily the child of the moment, it perishes at the birth ; and 
the obituary is dull and fusty. For this reason, perhaps, invented 



OF HIS OWN TBIES. 



19 



drollery seldom smells fresh : the artifice betrays the gestation. 
There is a species, however, which may at any time pass for 
authentic, though forged ; when the jollity is not absolutely 
involved in the circumstances, but in some image, or allusion, or 
chimera, supplied by a lucky hit or fruitful fancy ; that is, to 
obviate all misunderstanding, when the fun is fetched from a 
distance, and not the growth of the immediate neighbourhood. 
The merest trifle which comes at once, as if always familiar and 
at hand, is sure to please. The other day the long calm in the 
channel was mentioned. The speaker said his friend's yacht had 
been sixteen days coming from Loudon. rt Well," said a young 
lady, "they didn't paddle their own canoe." No one will ask was 
there a laugh. Such wit is genuine and translucid, though not as 
noisy as crimson, nor as bright as the Drummond light. It is a 
gem of purest ray serene. It is not very droll, but droll enough 
for one of the Graces. 



20 



barrington's personal sketches 



MES. JOEDAN : A MEMOIE. 

By the Editor. 

The reader's kind indulgence is requested for this incidental 
memoir, which has been prepared with the view of making 
such portions of Sir Jonah Barrington's first part as have been 
deemed deserving of retention, intelligible. "With respect to 
Mrs. Jordan's sojourn in France, and the melancholy termina- 
tion of her brilliant but chequered career, we have no authority 
except our author. The object of the editor is not merely to 
enhance the value of this volume by gratifying the curiosity 
created by Mrs. Jordan's name, but also to assert the dignity 
and safety of principle, to point a moral, and to vindicate the 
consoling maxim — 

"Virtue alone is happiness below." 

Mrs. Jordan was born about 1762. Her parents were 
"Welsh. The father's name was Bland, the mother's Grace 
Phillips. The latter was an actress ; the former found some- 
thing to do about the theatre, for he was a scene-shifter in 
Cork when Heaphy was manager. It is supposed that their 
daughter Dora was born at Waterford. At the commencement 
of her career she used the names of Francis, Phillips, or Bland, 
from time to time. Neither is the place of her birth nor of 
her first appearance on the stage, certain. If the circumstances 
related by Herbert in his Irish Varieties be true, it is im- 
probable that Ireland was her native place. He relates having 
met the family in 1780 on the Pigeon-house Wall, when they 
had just landed from Wales, and were on their way to Dublin 
with an introduction to Eyder, the manager in that city. Eyder 
brought her out as Phebe in As you Like it. Her success 



OF HIS OH TIMES. 



21 



secured her the impersonation of all the scenic hoydens for 
some time, and was sufficient to attract the attention of the 
profligate and unprincipled Daly, a rival manager, who expur- 
gated his ruffianism by sixteen duels. At this time Daly was 
in possession of Smock Alley, where Miss Francis appeared as 
Lopez in the Duenna; for the manager had started the 
novelty of a general metamorphose, by which the men and 
women were to exchange the parts appropriate to their sex. 
Soon after, Miss Francis impersonated Adelaide in Jephson's 
Count of Xarbonnc, and with notable applause. Shortly after 
she proceeded with Daly's company to the provinces ; and 
at Waterford had the honour of captivating Sir Jonah's needy 
friend, Dragoon-Lieutenant Doyne, and of rejecting his addresses. 
In these early trials she manifested talents for tragedy as well 
as comedy, and gained favour with the public for the unaffected 
force and fidelity of voice and gesture, and produced a deep 
impression by her artless and winning naivete. Moreover, her 
gift of song, though by no means equal to that of several rivals, 
possessed secret charms that fascinated more than melody, and 
astonished more than execution. 

In July 1782 she took Leeds before York by surprise, when 
Tate Wilkiuson was manager, of whom Faddy Kelly — I mean 
Mick — speaks so precisely and pleasantly. It is said that her 
comic vein did not make its appearance till about this period ; 
but the assertion is a mistake. She first came forward as 
Calista in the Virgin Unmasked. The song of Greenwood 
Laddie, which she volunteered after the play, laid the founda- 
tion of her popularity and fame. Tate, a far-seeing fellow, 
immediately prognosticated her future greatness, and arranged 
for her visiting York, his head-quarters. 

She was announced in York, through a fatal necessity, as 
Mrs. Jordan ; the surname being somewhat inexplicable. It 
has been said that she adopted the new designation to please an 
aunt who was of the same profession, and then dying in the 
northern capital, but still excessively jealous of Welsh honour. 
She acted immediately in the Son-in-Zaw, and the Fair 



22 



barrington's personal sketches 



Penitent Towards the close of the year Mrs. Jordan was 
pursuing her triumphs at Hull. Here she had the misfortune 
to fall ill, and her malady became a source of unsisterly scandal 
in the mouths of her fair corps. Her re-appearance on the 
virtuous stage was saluted with an astounding hiss. But her 
modest resignation overcame her perils; her merits tranquillised 
the bosoms of her fastidious audience ; disapprobation gradually 
subsided ; and histrionic fascination silenced the sibilations of 
prudery. It is easy to oil the axletrees of this jolly world when 
nothing but virtue makes them rust. In September 1785 Mrs. 
Jordan performed for the last time in Wilkinson's company at 
Wakefield, whence she proceeded, with slender confidence, to Lon- 
don, where her first curtsey was dropped on the 18th of October. 

There prevailed at her advent, among the dramatic cohorts, 
an impatience of the imperial haughtiness of Siddons. This 
confessed queen of tragedy demeaned herself with a certain 
reserve that was painfully felt even by co-ordinate eminence. 
She had the command of aristocratic associations, and she 
wished to have her privileges understood from her carriage 
towards her equals or secondaries. Eesentment could not reach 
her, for she gave no offence. Tumbled down she could not be, 
for the fortress she held was too strong for open assault, how- 
ever vigorous. But the jealousy of humiliation is always ready 
for reception of an auxiliary for the fomenting of rebellion and 
the private encouragement of a rival. The anabasis of Jordan 
was welcomed by a large faction. Although not preceded by 
any loud noise, vague rumours, or big expectations, her 
descent on the capital to seize on a salary of four pounds 
a-week was regarded as a favourable opportunity by the dis- 
contents. In short, Mrs. Jordan had a party on the stage and 
behind the scenes before she had a friend or an admirer among 
the public. 

This was an advantage not easily appreciated by those 
without the proper sphere. She little needed it, however. Yet 
we must see that it afforded her, in homely phrase, a clear 
stage, from which her versatility threw forth numerous tentacula 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



23 



that rapidly seized the public humours aud put her in possession 
of the town. The Country Girl first exposed the resources 
and skill of the new campaigner and sudden favourite of the 
play-going world. After a third repetition of Peggy within a fort- 
night, she presented herself as Viola in Twelfth Night, and begat 
a wide admiration, whose warmth was considerably increased 
by the romping of Miss Hoyden in the Trip to Scarborough, 
on January 9, 1786. And now the critical pundits of best 
taste pronounced the final decree that Mrs. Jordan was without 
a rival in masculine attire. A judgment in theatricals is a rare 
gift, a difficult acquisition, and a dangerous ordeal. But a 
pretty girl in pantaloons, who can jump, laugh, and smirk, 
humorously deliver, with some novel peculiarity not quite 
provincial, such domesticated phrases as — hut I dont, but I 
wont, grum, bvA, and best gown, engrosses universal applause 
with a wonderful celerity. Ay, the table, the boudoir, the 
dance, the shady walk, resound with the praises of the bright- 
eyed damsel in inexpressibles — the Diana in hunting-breeches, 
with a cutting whip instead of a spindle, half a double Glo'ster 
for a crescent, and a gin-bottle for a hunter's horn of chase ! 
Such are the merits and equipments that win the golden 
opinions of the public, and conquer the coronets that diffuse 
splendour round a throne I Meanwhile, genius, virtue, good- 
ness, commune with themselves in the solitude of the garret, 
and speculate on a day's work, the price of a loaf, or the whole 
duty of man. 

Such, says her wearisome biographer, was Mrs. Jordan when 
she burst on the metropolis in 1795. That her talents were 
high and her art an appropriate and subtle finish to them, there 
is no reason to doubt. That she was worthy of half the load of 
laurel heaped on her is very questionable indeed. The eulogies 
of her admirers are excessive, and perhaps on this very account 
not much to be trusted. Besides, arch lively ladies, even under 
the disadvantage of pitted cheeks and chin that marred the 
fascinating powers of Miss Bland, discharge sundry sorts of 
artillery and small-arms full of mischief to unsuspecting gal- 



24 • barrington's personal sketches 



lantry ; and the women make amends for their leaning to con- 
jugal schism by seconding our flattering opinions of a theatrical 
siren. Mrs. Inchbald, in whose judgment and candour we fully 
assent, was deeply impressed with the abilities of our heroine, 
and has left this record of them, the more memorable because it 
refers to that period at which we have just touched : — " She came 
to town," says that clever and discerning judge, who knew her 
in York ; u she came to town with no report in her favour, to 
elevate her above a very moderate salary, or to attract more than 
a very moderate house when she appeared. But here moderation 
stopped. She at once displayed such consummate art, with such 
bewitching nature — such excellent sense, and such innocent 
simplicity — that her auditors were boundless in their plaudits, 
and so warm in her praise when they left the theatre, that their 
friends at home would not give credit to the extent of their 
eulogiums." Assuredly this is a true picture ; still there is no 
evidence of Mrs. Jordan's lofty genius, as we are convinced it 
existed in Mrs. Billington, Mrs. Abington, Mrs. Siddons, or Kate 
Clive, whose star sank below the horizon exactly one month after 
that of Viola rose. 

Her next exploit was Hypolita in She Would and She Would 
not. Her success profited the manager, propped the company, 
and tripled her salary. At the close of the season Mrs. Jordan 
returned to Leeds to show her spoils and enjoy her glory among 
a few special friends. The relations between the townsfolk and 
the victorious adventurer had changed. That stupid apathy 
which had kept her guinea and a half per week from advancing, 
and repressed her growth for four summers, now broke out in 
rays of encouragement and vistas of delight. Her Country Girl 
and Romp were immediately announced, and performed to a full 
and enthusiastic house, June 21, 1786. Shortly after, she went 
to Edinburgh, where she tried higher flights, and made good her 
experiments. For her benefit, on August 6, she chose the Belle's 
Stratagem, by Mrs. Cowley, and acted the part of Letitia Hardy. 
For this important occasion she wrote an address, which she also 
recited, and which exceeds the average merit of such unpro- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



25 



pitious compositions. I shall favour the reader with a few of its 
passages, displaying an amount of originality, vigour, and culture, 
not to be expected from the infelicitous circumstances of the poor 
girl's childhood. The whole, indeed, is so promising as to make 
one regret that so much intellectual discipline did not conduct 
to a more happy and creditable career. 

From Mrs. Jordan's Address at Edinburgh, August 6, 1786. 

By sealing thus my sentence now, 
You've heaped new laurels on my brow ; 
Nor is the northern sprig less green 
Than that which in the south was seen : 
For though your sun may colder be, 
Your hearts I've found full warm to me. 

'Tis true such planets* sparkled here 
As made me tremble to appear j — 
A twinkling star, just come in sight, 
"Which, towards the Pole, might give no light ! 

Melpomene has made such work, 
Reigning despotic like the Turk : 
I feared Thalia had no chance, 
Her laughing standard to advance : 
But yet, her youngest ensign, I 
Took courage, was resolved to try. 
And stand the hazard of the die ! 

She made known her return to London in Matilda in Ccevr 
de Lion, by General Burgoyne. By-and-by she acted in Con- 
greve's Love for Love ; and then in Holcroft's Sultan as Rox- 
alana. By having commented on this new comedy of this author, 
from which Mrs. Jordan was excluded, Boaden has given me 
the opportunity of disinterring the only good thing he ever 
wrote. " Like Mrs. Siddons herself, she seems to have been con- 
sidered as devoted to the writings only of men of genius." 

Mrs. Jordan's next trial was as Juletta in the Pilgrim of 
Fletcher, in which she acquitted herself satisfactorily in some 
very favourable passages, although the character was not calcu- 
lated to elicit her special powers. 

* Alluding to Mrs. Siddons. 



26 



barrington's personal sketches 



As yet the qualities of Mrs. Jordan were but partially de- 
veloped. Now she entered the arena against one of the ablest 
practitioners of her day — the justly celebrated Peg Woffington. 
Whatever may have been her degree of excellence in Juletta, it 
seems to me that the most she could have derived from it was 
good training, variety of exercise, and greater expansion. It 
was excellent preparation for a passage-at-arms with the dex- 
terous Peg in Farquhar's Sir Harry Wildair, in which her fine 
figure was displayed to the greatest advantage. Her success 
was unambiguous. It is said that the artlessness and simplicity 
of her tones and manner had the effect of mitigating the liberty 
of the dialogue ; and the two female rakes were uproariously 
rewarded with such reward as can be bellowed from the plebeian 
admiration of pits and galleries, and the mawkish criticism 
of dazzling boxes. 

In 1788 the management fell to Kemble, who produced the 
Panel, and gave Jordan — Beatrice. Followed Vanburgh's Con- 
federacy, which displayed our heroine in such a Corinna as had 
not been seen close upon a century. Her benefit was As you 
Like it. Eosalind helped her to a division of empire with 
Siddons. Tragedy and Comedy had now each its queen ; and 
their subjects cherished an amicable jealousy of the superiority 
of either in deluding the hours of idleness, diversifying the 
intellectual banquet, or agitating the affections of the soul. 

Mrs. Jordan had thus reached her eight-and-twentieth year 
before she had firmly established or much diffused her pro- 
fessional reputation. The year 1791 connected with her name 
some new characters which served to enlarge the opinion of her 
capacity, and the train that attended her in the certain ex- 
pectation of rapture. At the conclusion of the season at Drury 
Lane she re-opened the usual campaign in the north. This 
time, however, she was either disappointed or discomfited. To 
ensure success, she had taken too little pains, or neglected the 
precautions and artifices necessary to it. Perhaps she offended 
in withholding that deference hj which the public wish to be 
courted ; or alarmed rural prudery by circulating no gossip to 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



27 



throw a light on the name of Ford or the gentleman who helped 
her to cany it through the country. She was so coldly received 
at York, that rather than play one night more, Mrs. Ford for- 
feited to Tate Nicholson thirty pounds, wherewith he was well 
pleased. 

At this time Mrs. Jordan thought it expedient to deprive of 
their sting some rumours which nettled her, by making such a 
candid avowal as may be generously credited to have been ac- 
companied with a pang and a blush, and reasonably expected to 
check the malicious whispers of petty scandal. The avowal 
was, at all events, ingeniously calculated to save her the penalty 
of future suffusions of modest blood on the repetition of innu- 
endoes countermined and exploded by her own candour and 
composure. Occasional absence from the performances was 
construed into a studied slight of the respect due to the 
audiences, by those restless wretches who seem to live by 
teasing others, and delight in catering for nauseous curiosity. 
The charge of wilful negligence and disrespect naturally brought 
forth an answer from the accused, which appeared in the news- 
papers. The letter containing her denial of the justice of the 
accusation which had proved a source of some uneasiness, pre- 
sented her with a desirable opportunity, or may perhaps have 
been written to create it. The conclusion of Mrs. Jordan's 
epistle is sufficient for any explanation which may be required 
here. u In the present instance," she says, " there can be no 
impropriety in my answering those who have so ungenerously 
attacked me, that, if they could drive me from that profession, 
they would take from me the only income I have, or mean to 
possess, the whole earnings of which upon the past, and one- 
half for the future, I have already settled upon my children. 
Unjustly and cruelly traduced as I have been upon this subject, 
I trust that this short declaration will not be deemed impertinent. 
— Dor. Jordan." 

This stroke of simplicity and pathos had a magical effect. 
The appetite of curiosity was appeased ; the murmur of male- 
volence stifled ; the injured pride of the public atoned and 



28 



barrington's personal sketches 



repaired, and the grand flatulence of indignant virtue reduced 
to a collapse extremely sudden, but not very surprising. 

It was at this juncture the Duke of Clarence issued a 
supersedeas against Ford. The attractions of the clever artiste 
had captivated the jolly tar, who was her junior by about four 
years, and who lost no time in conveying to her such honourable 
proposals as could be made without any accident to the lady's 
delicacy or contempt of the law. The behaviour of the exulting 
beauty was at once prudent and becoming. She gave Ford the 
opportunity of excluding the Duke from the succession by im- . 
mediately establishing a legal right to her obedience. Ford 
refused, and was discarded to make way for royal protection. 
This was accepted under as many conditions and vows as, under 
the circumstances, could make it flattering, safe, and somewhat 
excusable in the eyes of the more lenient part of society. This 
compact amicably subsisted for twenty years — a compact which 
might by this time have been forgotten, had it not been rendered 
memorable by a long, lucky, and respectable family, whose 
conduct has made the bar-sinister a cause of general regret. 

Speculation was much disappointed by Mrs. Jordan's con- 
tinuance on the stage. To relinquish it may not have been 
convenient to her wants, her independence of spirit, her need of 
excitement, or the cravings of her vanity. Her letter had 
baffled her enemies, rallied her friends, and reconciled the 
jealous and dainty public. To her talents were now added the 
halo of royal countenance, and the immense influence of the 
crowd of young bloods that swarmed round the flowery branches 
of royalty. Secure against failure by talents, in which she had 
just confidence, the path of ambition seemed more splendid and 
wider by reason of her new alliances. The sequel of her pro- 
fessional career was as triumphant, if not as tranquil, as that of 
Siddons. I am not bound or inclined to trace it. Its history 
could be interesting only to a few, and those few only busy 
idlers. Theatrical notes and comments are generally vapid 
reading, and can be instructive to artistic students merely. All 
that the most exacting can ask for here, is the principal 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



29 



characters in which Mrs. Jordan amused scenic amateurs for 
the rest of her life. In addition to those mentioned, they were 
— Fatima, in Cymon ; Lady Kestless, in All in the Wrong ; Lady 
Contest, in the Wedding Day ;* Helena, in All's Well; Sabina, 
in First Love ; Fidelia, in the Plain Dealer ; Flavia, in the Iron 
Chest ; Albina, in the Will ; Angela, in the Castle Spectre ; 
Rosa, in the Secret ; Cora, in Pizarro ; Lady Teazle, in the 
School for Scandal ; Emma Harvey, etc. etc. 

In March 1809, some time after the burning of Drury Lane 
Theatre, Mrs. Jordan wrote to a friend — " In obedience to the 
Duke's wishes, I have withdrawn myself for the present, or at 
least till there is a theatre royal for me to appear in. Mr. 
Marsh and Mr. Alsop, the two gentlemen to whom my daugh- 
ters are married, will do themselves the pleasure of leaving 
their cards at your door next week. — I ever am, sir, etc., Dora 
Jordan." 

This was subscribed — 

" I am to play to-morrow week at the Opera House ; and as 
it is likely to be my last night, it would not be amiss to have it 
' insinuated into the boxes.' " 

The performance here alluded to was for the benefit of those 
thrown out of bread by the destruction of the theatre. Imme- 
diately after she went on her own account to Bath — an act which 
foreshadows the secession of the Duke. When she arrived in 
Bath, Mrs. Jordan was astounded at finding the voices of her 
house at Bushy repeated by such distant echoes. There she 
heard the particulars of her separation from the Duke. It had 
not yet taken place ; but she could not have hoped otherwise. 

From Bath she proceeded to Dublin, where her name and 
talent had but an ill fortune with the volatile multitude. Her 
progress there called forth some meditations from her biographer 
Boa den, which rival anything of my philosophic countrymen, 
and therefore merit reproduction here : — 

u But, as if the spirit of Daly had survived in the theatre 
disgraced by his conduct, it was then alone that respect failed 

* Into which she introduced her entrancing "ballad — In the Dead of the Night. 



30 



BARRINGTON S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



towards a lady who was one of its rarest ornaments. Performers 
below mediocrity were appointed to act with her, and, in addi- 
tion to the want of talent, there was a total want of decency 
among them. Cues they were unable to give — they were 
unused to the stage business. Perhaps she was most injured 

among this crew of raff by her own virtue. There was 

an actor named Barrett. He had witnessed her debut, and she 
provided for him, and extended her bounty to others who had 
formerly been known to her in the profession." 

On her return from Ireland she was met in every nook and 
corner by the vindictive missiles of Ford. I forgot to mention 
who this miserable miscreant was. He was son of a proprietor 
of the theatre, a barrister and a city magistrate — the same under 
whose warrant Colonel Despard was apprehended. While un- 
dergoing a miscellaneous peppering from the votaries of pro- 
priety and conjugal quiet, she was performing at Cheltenham, 
where a billet from the Duke reached her, inviting an interview 
at Maidenhead for the express purpose of a prologue to separa- 
tion: The separation took place, and nothing connected with it 
tends to show that the Duke of Clarence was deficient in justice 
or tenderness. 

She acknowledges, in a letter to a friend, dated from St. 
James's, Tuesday December 7th, that the Duke of Clarence has 
settled on her and her children the most liberal and generous pro- 
vision. It seems, however, that she was in debt, that her liabilities 
were discharged, and that then she had but £200 per annum to 
live on. To recruit her means of livelihood, she reconstructed her 
expectations on the stage. "While contemplating this resource 
she was distracted by a variety of family afflictions thoroughly 
deserving commiseration. Her exigencies and anxieties brought 
on illness, and compelled her to give up her engagement at 
Sheffield. It is a great mistake to suppose that at this time, or 
at any, her performances could have produced £7000 in one 
year. Mrs. Jordan was really on the decline ; or, what was 
equally adverse to her prospects, Miss O'Neill and others began 
to attract the public regard. Finally, so evil was her fate that 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



31 



she was forced to make her escape to France to avoid for a 
while a trifling demand for £2000. She settled at St. Cloud, 
where our author witnessed her last distresses. She died July 
3, 1816. 

The subjoined documents will thoroughly inform the reader 
of all that can be interesting concerning Mrs. Jordan. They will 
afford a clue to some of Sir Jonah's hints, and satisfy all reason- 
able curiosity. 

In the Morning Post of December 8, 1823, appeared the first; 
the rest will explain themselves. It is only necessary to say Mr. 
Barton's knowledge of these affairs has never been questioned. 
A few connecting words are interpolated. 

"Dorothea Jordan, deceased. — The creditors of Dorothea 
Jordan, late of Englefield Green, and Cadogan Tlace, Sloane 
Street, in the county of Middlesex, spinster, deceased, who have 
proved their debts, may receive a dividend of five shillings in 
the pound, by applying at the office of the Solicitor to the 
Treasury, No. 5, Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn. And those 
creditors who have not yet proved their debts, are requested 
forthwith to furnish the Solicitor of the Treasury with proof 
thereof." 

This announcement having been put down as a composition, 
was thus answered : — 

" A paragraph is now in progress through the newspapers, 
stating that the debts of this lamented and interesting lady have 
been compounded for five shillings in the pound, which is now 
in course of payment. This statement is not correct. Mrs. 
Jordan died intestate in France ; the consequence of which is, 
her property vests in the crown, and it has become the duty of 
the King's Solicitor to collect her effects, and apply them, in the 
first instance, to the payment of her debts. He has done this, 
and announced a payment to the extent stated. This is the fact, 
but it is not a composition of the lady's debts ; the same course 
would be adopted in the case of any other British subject dying 



32 



barrington's personal sketches 



abroad intestate. But perhaps it would not have been necessary 
to notice the misrepresentation, were it not for the use to which 
it is applied by some of the public prints, in which it is made 
the ground of a bitter invective against a royal personage, for- 
merly connected with that interesting female by many dear and 
intimate ties. Nothing can be more unfounded than the charge, 
in which it is stated that she was left totally unprovided — to 
pine and die in want in a foreign land. Mrs. Jordan enjoyed an 
income of £2000 a-year, settled upon her by the royal Duke. It 
was paid quarterly at Coutts's bank, in the Strand ; and the last 
quarter, which did not become due until after her death, was 
received by a lady, formerly a governess at Bushy, and afterwards 
resident with her as a companion in France, who came over to 
London for the purpose. But the report of the total abandon- 
ment and destitution of Mrs. Jordan is not new ; it has been so 
long and frequently reported, and suffered to pass without con- 
tradiction, it is now received as truth in every circle. That it 
has not been noticed by some of the friends of the royal personage 
aspersed, may excite surprise. We feel it our duty, however, to 
expose the misrepresentation, without regard to the wishes of the 
friends of his Eoyal Highness. The exposure is due to the cause 
of truth, it is due to the country, which has an interest in the 
character of the illustrious individual so near to the throne, which 
could not belong to the case of a subject, however important, of 
inferior rank." 

The doubts and misrepresentations attending the matters 
under view brought forth a full explanation from Mr. Barton, of 
the Mint. He addressed the following to the newspapers : — 

" Sir — The attention of the public has lately, as it has many 
times before, been drawn, by notices in the daily papers, to the 
case of the late Mrs. Jordan, and much pains have been taken to 
stigmatise the conduct of an illustrious personage, as it relates 
to that celebrated and much-esteemed favourite of the public. 
These censures upon the conduct of the Duke of Clarence have 
been often repeated, and as often treated with silence upon the 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



33 



part of his Royal Highness' friends. This silence has, however, 
been construed by many into an admission of the accusations ; 
till at length the stories so often told of Mrs. Jordan's having 
been obliged to leave her country and fly to a neighbouring 
kingdom, where, it is said, she died insolvent, for want of a 
trifling allowance being made to her by the Duke, are assumed 
as facts. 

" It has gone on thus until some persons have exclaimed, 
' Has the Duke of Clarence no friend, who, if the accusations are 
groundless, can rescue the character of his Royal Highness from 
such gross calumny ? ' All who knew the Duke or his con- 
nections intimately are acquainted with the truth ; but none 
being so fully possessed of the whole case as myself, I feel that 
any further forbearance would amount to a dereliction of duty 
on my part ; and therefore, in justice to a much-injured character, 
I take upon myself to submit the following statement to the 
public, acquainting them, in the first place, that it was through 
my hands the whole transaction upon the separation of the 
Duke and Mrs. Jordan passed ; that it was at my suggestion 
Mrs. Jordan adopted the resolution of leaving this country for 
France, to enable her the more readily and honourably to ex- 
tricate herself from the troubles into which she had fallen 
through a misplaced confidence, and that I possess a correspond- 
ence with Mrs. Jordan, subsequent to her leaving England, 
which corroborates my statement in the minutest points. Upon 
the separation which took place between Mrs. Jordan and the 
Duke, in the year 1811, it was agreed that she should have the 
care, until a certain age, of her four youngest daughters, and a 
settlement was made by the Duke for the payment by him of 
the following amounts : — 

"For the maintenance of his four daughters . . .£1500 

For a house and carriage for their use . . . 600 

For Mrs. Jordan's own use 1500 

And to enable Mrs. Jordan to make a provision for her 

married daughters, children of a former connection 800 



VOL. II. 



In all . £4400 

D 



34 



barpjngton's personal sketches 



" This settlement was carried into effect, a trustee was ap- 
pointed, and the monies, under such trust, were paid quarterly 
to the respective accounts, at the banking-house of Messrs. 
Coutts and Co. It was a stipulation in the said settlements, that 
in the event of Mrs. Jordan resuming her profession, the care 
of the Duke's four daughters, together with the £1500 per 
annuin for their maintenance, should revert to his Eoyal High- 
ness ; and this event actually did take place, in the course of a 
few months, in consequence of Mrs. Jordan's desire to accept 
certain proposals made to her to perform. Mrs. Jordan did 
resume her profession ; and, not long after, reflections were 
thrown out against both the Duke and herself ; whereupon Mrs. 
Jordan, indignant at such an attack upon his Eoyal Highness, 
wrote the following letter, which was published in the papers of 
the day : — 

" ' Sir — Though I did not see the morning print that con- 
tained the paragraph alluded to in your liberal and respectable 
paper of yesterday, yet I was not long left in ignorance of the 
abuse it poured out against me ; this I could silently have sub- 
mitted to, but I was by no means aware that the writer of it had 
taken the opportunity of throwing out insinuations which he 
thought might be injurious to a no less honourable than illus- 
trious personage. 

" ' In the love of truth, and in justice to his Eoyal Highness, 
I think it my duty publicly and unequivocally to declare that 
his liberality towards me has been noble and generous in the 
highest degree ; but, not having it in his power to extend his 
bounty beyond the term of his own existence, he has, with his 
accustomed goodness and consideration, allowed me to endeavour 
to make that provision for myself which an event, that better 
feelings than those of interest make me hope I shall never live 
to see, would entirely deprive me of. 

" ' This, then, sir, is my motive for returning to my pro- 
fession. I am too happy in having every reason to hope and 
believe, that, under these circumstances, I shall not offend the 
public at large by seeking their support and protection ; and, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



35 



while 1 feel that I possess those, I shall patiently submit to that 
species of unmanly persecution, which a female so particularly 
situated must always be subject to. Ever ready to acknowledge 
my deficiencies in every respect, I trust I may add that I shall 
never be found wanting in candour and gratitude — not forgetful 
of the care that every individual should feel for the good opinion 
of the public. — I am, sir, your much obliged, humble servant, 

" ' Doe a Jordan.' 
" It should have been before stated, that upon settling the 
annual allowance to Mrs. Jordan, everything in the shape of a 
money transaction was brought to account ; and that the most 
trilling sums even, upon recollection, were admitted, and interest 
being calculated upon the whole, in her favour, to the latest 
period, the balance was paid over by me, on the part of the 
Duke, and for which I hold Mrs. Jordan's receipt. It should 
also be understood that, up to the day of their separation, Mrs. 
Jordan had received a large annual allowance from his Eoyal 
llkdmess. 

o 

" A cessation of correspondence between Mrs. Jordan and 
myself ensued, until September 1815, when I most unexpectedly 
received a note from her, requesting to see me immediately. I 
found her in tears, and under much embarrassment, from a cir- 
cumstance that had burst upon her, as she said, ' like a thunder- 
storm.' She found herself involved to a considerable amount by 
securities, which all at once appeared against her, in the form of 
bonds and promissory-notes, given incautiously by herself, to re- 
lieve, as she thought, from trifling difficulties, a near relation, in 
whom she placed the greatest confidence. 

u Acceptances had been given by her in blank, upon stamped 
paper, which she supposed were for small amounts, but which 
afterwards appear to have been laid before her capable of carry- 
ing larger sums. 

" She was fearful of immediate arrest. She wished to treat 
all her claimants most fairly and honourably, and to save, if pos- 
sible, the wife and children of the person who had so deceived 
her from utter ruin. She could not enter into negotiations with 



36 



barrington's personal sketches 



her creditors unless at large ; and apprehending that if she re- 
mained in England that would not long be the case, she instantly 
adopted the resolution before mentioned of going to France. 

" A list of creditors was made out, and an arrangement was 
in progress to enable her to return to this country. All she 
required, in order to set her mind at ease on the extent of the 
demands that might be out against her, was, that the person who 
had plunged her into all these difficulties should declare, upon 
oath, that the list he had given her included the whole. This 
the party from time to time refused to do ; and disappointed thus 
in the hope she had so fondly cherished, of again returning to 
this country, and seeing those children for whom she had the 
most tender affection, she sank under the weight of her afflic- 
tions, and in the month of June* 1816, died at St. Cloud. 

" With the death of Mrs. Jordan ceased the allowance which 
by his Eoyal Highness' means she was enabled to make up to 
£200 a-year to each of her three married daughters. Surely, then, 
no blame can attach to the Duke of Clarence, whose liberality, 
in order to enable Mrs. Jordan to make a suitable provision for 
them, in the event of her death, has been acknowledged by her 
to have been ' most noble and generous in the highest degree.' 

" All sorts of means were resorted to by one of the parties 
(now no more) to compel a continuance of these allowances. 
The Duke did not chose to be driven in this respect ; but when 
importunity, from inefficacy of threats, had died away, His Eoyal 
Highness, of his own generous accord, did give to each his kind 
assistance, and I am, to this day, paying, and as long as it shall 
be His Eoyal Highness' pleasure, shall continue to pay, annual 
gratuities to the two surviving daughters. 

" The administration of the effects of Mrs. Jordan, by the 
Solicitor of the Treasury, was ex officio, and the advertisment 
which appeared in the papers, and which has called forth this 
last attack, was put in regular discharge of the duties of his 
administration. John Barton. 

" Royal Mint, Jan. 21, 1824." 

* See ante, July 3. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



37 



MBS. JORDAN.* 

The short sketches of the Dublin stage in my juvenile days 
bring me to a subject more recent and much more interesting to 
my feelings. I touch it nevertheless with pain, and must ever 
deeply regret the untimely catastrophe of a lady who was at 
once the highest surviving prop of her profession and a genuine 
sample of intrinsic excellence : had her fate descended, whilst 
filling her proper station, and in her own country ; or had not 
the circumstances which attended some parts of that lady's 
career been entirely mistaken ; — had not the cause of her 
miseries been grossly misrepresented, and the story of her deser- 
tion and embarrassed state at the time of her dissolution alto- 
gether false, I probably should never have done more than 
mention her professional excellences. 

But so much of that lady's life, and so much relating to her 
death also, lias been mis-stated in the public prints, that I feel 
myself warranted in sketching some traits and incidents of Mrs. 
Jordan's character and life, all of which I know to be true, and 
a great proportion whereof I was personally acquainted with. 
Some degree of mystery has rested, and will probably continue 
to rest, on the causes which led that lady to repair to a foreign 
country, where she perished ; all I shall say, however, on that 
score is, that these causes have never yet been known except to 
a very limited number of individuals, and never had, in any 
shape or in any degree, bearing or connection with her former 
situation. The reports current on this head I know to be 
utterly unfounded, and many of them I believe to be altogether 
malicious. 

* The reader will easily understand what Sir Jonah aims at. The preceding 
section was drawn up to explain what follows. 



38 



barrington's personal sketches 



I am not Mrs. Jordan's biographer ; my observations only 
apply to portions of her conduct and life. I had the gratification 
of knowing intimately that amiable woman and justly celebrated 
performer. Her public talents are recorded ; her private merits 
are known to few. I enjoyed a portion of her confidence on 
several very particular, subjects, and had full opportunity of 
appreciating her character. 

At the point of time when I first saw Mrs. Jordan, she could 
not be much more, I think, than sixteen years of age ; and was 
making her debut as Miss Francis, at the Dublin Theatre. It is 
worthy of observation that her early appearances in Dublin 
were not in any of those characters (save one) wherein she after- 
wards so eminently excelled ; but such as, being more girlish, 
were better suited to her spirits and her age. I was then, of 
course, less competent than now to exercise the critical art ; yet 
could not but observe that in these parts she was perfect even 
on her first appearance : she had no art, in fact, to study ; Nature 
was her sole instructress. Youthful, joyous, animated, and droll, 
her laugh bubbled up from her heart, and her tears welled out 
ingenuously from the deep spring of feeling. Her countenance 
was all expression, without being all beauty ; her form, then 
light and elastic — her flexible limbs — the juvenile but inde- 
scribable graces of her every movement, impressed themselves, 
as I perceived, indelibly upon all who attended even her earliest 
performances. 

Her expressive features and eloquent action at all periods 
harmonised blandly with each other — not by artifice, however 
skilful, but by intellectual sympathy ; and when her figure was 
adapted to the part she assumed, she had only to speak the 
words of an author to become the very person he delineated. 
Her voice was clear and distinct, modulating itself with natural 
and winning ease ; and when exerted in. song, its gentle flute-like 
melody formed the most captivating contrast to the convulsed 
and thundering bravura. She was throughout the untutored 
child of Nature : she sang without effort, and generally without 
the accompaniment of instruments ; and whoever heard her 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



39 



Dead of the Night, and her Sweet Bird, either in public or pri- 
vate, if they had any soul, must have surrendered at discretion. 

In genuine playful comic characters, such as Belinda, etc., 
she was unique ; but in the formal, dignified parts of genteel 
comedy, her superiority was not so decided ; her line, indeed, 
was distinctly marked out, but within its extent she stood 
altogether unrivalled — nay, unapproached. 

At the commencement of Mrs. Jordan's theatrical career, she 
had difficulties to encounter which nothing but superiority of 
talent could so suddenly have surmounted. Both of the Dublin 
theatres were filled with performers of high popular reputation, 
aud thus every important part in her line of acting was ably 
preoccupied. The talent of the female performers, matured by 
experience and disciplined by practice, must yet have yielded to 
the fascinating powers of her natural genius, had it been suffered 
fairly to expand. But the jealousy which never fails to pervade 
all professions was powerfully excited to restrain the develop- 
ment of her mimic powers ; and it was rese rved for English 
audiences to give full play and credit to that extraordinary comic 
genius, which soon raised her to the highest pitch, at once of 
popular and critical estimation. 

Mrs. Daly, formerly Miss Barsanti, was foremost among the 
successful occupants of those buoyant characters to w T hich Miss 
Francis was peculiarly adapted : other actresses had long filled 
the remaining parts to which she aspired, and thus scarcely one 
was left open to engage her talents. 

Mr. Daly, about this time, resorted to a singular species of 
theatrical entertainment, by the novelty whereof he proposed to 
rival his competitors of Smock Alley ; namely, that of reversing 
characters, the men performing the female, and the females the 
male parts in comedy and opera. The opera of The Governess 
was played in this way for several nights, the part of Lopez by 
Miss Francis. In this singular and unimportant character the 
versatility of her talent rendered the piece attractive, and the 
season concluded with a strong anticipation of her future cele- 
brity. 



40 



barrington's personal sketches 



The company then proceeded to perform in the provinces, 
and at Waterford occurred the first grave incident in the life of 
Mrs. Jordan. Lieutenant Charles Doyne, of the third regiment 
of heavy horse (Greens), was then quartered in that city ; and 
struck with the naivete and almost irresistible attractions of the 
young performer, his heart yielded, and he became seriously and 
honourably attached to her. Lieutenant Doyne was not hand- 
some, but he was a gentleman and a worthy man, and had been 
my friend and companion some years at the University. I knew 
him intimately, and he entrusted me with his passion. Miss 
Francis's mother was then alive, and sedulously attended her. 
Full of ardour and thoughtlessness myself, I advised him, if he 
could win the young lady, to marry her ; adding, that no doubt 
fortune must smile on so disinterested a union. Her mother, 
however, was of a different opinion ; and as she had no fortune 
but her talent, the exercise of which was to be relinquished with 
the name of Erancis, it became a matter of serious consideration 
from what source they were to draw their support — with the 
probability too of a family] His commission was altogether in- 
adequate, and his private fortune very small. This obstacle in 
short was insurmountable : Mrs. Bland, anticipating the future 
celebrity of her child, and unwilling to extinguish in obscurity 
all chance of fame and fortune by means of the profession she 
had adopted, worked upon her daughter to decline the proposal. 
The treaty accordingly ended, and Lieutenant Doyne appeared 
to me for a little time almost inconsolable. Miss Francis, ac- 
companied by her mother, soon after went over to England, and 
for nearly twenty years I never saw that unrivalled performer. 

Mr. Owenson, the father of Lady Morgan, was at that time 
highly celebrated in the line of Irish characters, and never did 
an actor exist so perfectly calculated, in my opinion, to personify 
that singular class of people. Considerably above six feet in 
height ; remarkably handsome and brave-looking, — vigorous and 
well-shaped, — he was not vulgar enough to disgust, nor was he 
genteel enough to be out of character : never did I see any actor 
so entirely identify himself with the peculiarities of those parts 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



41 



he assumed. In the higher class of Irish characters, old officers, 
etc., he looked well, but did not exhibit sufficient dignity ; and 
in the lowest, his humour was scarcely quaint and original 
enough ; but in what might be termed the middle class of 
Paddies, no man ever combined the look and the manner with such 
felicity as Owenson. Scientific singing is not an Irish quality ; 
and he sang well enough. I have heard Jack Johnstone warble 
so very skilfully, and act some parts so very like a man of first- 
rate education, that I almost forgot the nation he was mimicking : 
that was not the case with Owenson ; he acted as if he had not 
received too much schooling, and sang like a man whom nobody 
had instructed. He was, like most of his profession, careless of 
his concerns, and grew old without growing rich. His last friend 
was old Fontaine, a very celebrated Irish dancing-master, many 
years domiciliated and highly esteemed in Dublin. He aided 
Owenson and his family whilst he had means to do so, and they 
both died nearly at the same time — instances of talent and im- 
providence. 

This digression I have ventured on, because, in the first place, 
it harmonises with the theatrical nature of my subject, and may 
be interesting — because it relates to the father of an eminent and 
amiable woman ; and most particularly, because I was informed 
that Mr. Owenson took a warm interest in the welfare of Miss 
Francis, and was the principal adviser of her mother in rejecting 
Mr. Doyne's addresses. 

After a lapse of many years I chanced to acquire the honour 
of a very favourable introduction to His Eoyal Highness the Duke 
of Clarence, who became the efficient friend of me and of my 
family — not with that high and frigid mien which so often ren- 
ders ungracious the favours of authorities in the British govern- 
ment, but with the frankness and sincerity of a prince. He 
received and educated my only son with his own, and sent him, 
as lieutenant of the Fifth Dragoon Guards, to make his cam- 
paigns in the Peninsula, This introduction to His Eoyal High- 
ness and his family gave me full and unerring opportunities of 
knowing, of appreciating, and valuing Mrs. Jordan. 



42 



baeeington's peesonal sketches 



The outlines of Mrs. Jordan's public life, after her connection 
of twenty-three years with that royal personage, are too well known 
to require recital here. But with respect to her more private 
memoirs, so much falsehood and exaggeration have gone abroad 
— so many circumstances have been distorted, and so many facts 
invented — some of the latter possessing sufficient plausibility to 
deceive even the most wary — that, if not a duty, it appears at 
least praiseworthy, to aim at the refutation of such calumnies. 

I have ever felt a great abhorrence of the system of defama- 
tion on hearsay. Public men, as such, may properly be com- 
mented on. It is the birthright of the British people to speak 
fairly their sentiments of those who rule them ; but libel on 
private reputation is a disgusting excrescence upon the body of 
political freedom, and has latterly grown to an extent so danger- 
ous to individuals, and so disgraceful to the press at large, that 
it may hereafter afford plausible pretences for curtailing the 
liberty of that organ — the pure and legal exercise of which is the 
proudest and surest guardian of British freedom. The present 
lax, unrestrained, and vicious exuberance of the periodical press, 
stamps the United Kingdom as the very focus of libel and defa- 
mation in all their ramifications. No reputation — no rank — no 
character, public or private, neither the living nor the dead, — can 
escape from its licentiousness. One comfort may be drawn from 
the reflection — that it can proceed no further ; its next movement 
must be a retrograde one, and I trust the legislature will not 
permit this retrogression to be long deferred. 

I cannot conclude this digression without reprobating in no 
measured terms that most dangerous of all calumnious tendencies 
which endeavours systematically to drag down the highest ranks 
to the level of the lowest, and by labouring to excite a demo- 
cratic contempt of royal personages, gradually saps the very 
foundation of constitutional allegiance : such, however, has been 
a practice of the day, exercised with all the rancour, but without 
any portion of the ability, of Junius. 

It is deeply to be lamented that this system has been exem- 
plified by some individuals whose literary celebrity might have 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



43 



well afforded tliem the means of creditable subsistence, without 
endeavouring to force into circulation works of mercenary pen- 
manship by wanton slander of the very highest personage in the 
United Empire. I specify no name : I designate no facts ; — if they 
exist not, it is unimportant ; if they are notorious, the applica- 
tion will not be difficult. It is true that a libeller cannot fully 
atone — yet he may repent ; and even that mortification would 
be a better penance to any calumniator of distinguished talent 
than to run the risk of being swamped between the Scylla and 
Charybdis of frivolity and disaffection. 

But to return to the accomplished subject of my sketch : — I 
have seen her, as she called it, on a cruise, that is, at a provincial 
theatre (Liverpool) ; having gone over once from Dublin for that 
purpose. She was not then in high spirits, indeed her tone, in 
this respect, was not uniform ; in the mornings she usually 
seemed depressed ; at noon she went to rehearsal — came home 
fatigued, dined at three, and then reclined in her chamber till it 
was time to dress for the performance. She generally went to 
the theatre low-spirited. 

I once accompanied Mrs. Jordan to the green-room at Liver- 
pool ; Mrs. Alsop, and her old maid, assiduously attended her. 
She went thither languid and apparently reluctant ; but in a 
quarter of an hour her very nature seemed to undergo a meta- 
morphosis. The sudden change of her manner appeared to me, 
in fact, nearly miraculous ; she walked spiritedly across the stage 
two or three times, as if to measure its extent ; and the moment 
her foot touched the scenic boards her spirit seemed to be re- 
generated ; she cheered up, hummed an air, stepped light and 
quick, and every symptom of depression vanished ! The comic 
eye and cordial laugh returned upon their enchanting mistress, 
and announced that she felt herself moving in her proper 
element. Her attachment to the practice of her profession, in 
fact, exceeded anything I could conceive. 

Mrs. Jordon delighted in talking over past events. She had 
strong impressions of everything ; and I could perceive was 
often influenced rather by her feelings than her judgment. 



44 



barrington's personal sketches 



" How happens it," said I to her, when last in Dublin, " that 
you still exceed all your profession even in characters not so 
adapted to you now as when I first saw you ? How do you 
contrive to be so buoyant — nay, so childish, on the stage, whilst 
you lose half your spirits, and degenerate into gravity, the 
moment you are off it ? " 

" Old habits !" replied Mrs. Jordan, " old habits ! had I for- 
merly studied my positions, weighed my words, and measured 
my sentences, I should have been artificial, and they might have 
hissed me ; so, when I had got the words well by heart, I told 
Nature I was then at her service to do whatever she thought 
proper with my feet, legs, hands, arms, and features. To her I 
left the whole matter ; I became, in fact, merely her puppet, and 
never interfered further myself in the business. I heard the 
audience laugh at me, and I laughed at myself ; they laughed 
again, so did I ; and they gave me credit for matters I knew 
very little about, and for which Dame Nature, not I, should 
have received their approbation. The best rule for a performer 
is to forget, if possible, that any audience is listening. We per- 
form best of all in our closets, and next best to crowded houses ; 
but I scarcely ever saw a good performer who was always 
eyeing the audience. If," continued she, " half the gesticulation, 
half the wit, drollery, and anecdote which I heard amongst you 
all at Curran's Priory, at Grattan's cottage, and at your house, 
had been displayed before an audience, ivithout your "knowing 
that anybody was listening to you, the performance would have 
been cheered as one of the finest pieces of comic acting possible, 
though, in fact, your only plot was endeavouring to get tipsy as 
agreeably as possible ! " 

This last visit of Mrs. Jordan to the Irish capital took place 
in the year 1809, and afforded me a full opportunity of eliciting 
the traits of her nature and disposition. She was greeted in 
that metropolis with all the acclamations that her reputation 
and talent so fully merited ; she was well received among the 
best society in Dublin, whose anxiety was excited beyond 
measure to converse with her in private. Here, however, she 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



45 



disappointed all ; for there was about her no display, and the 
animated, lively, brilliant mimic, on the boards, was in the 
saloon retiring, quiet, nay, almost reserved. Mrs. Jordan seldom 
spoke much in company, particularly in very large assemblies ; 
but then she spoke well. She made no exertion to appear dis- 
tinguished, and became more so by the absence of effort. The 
performer was wholly merged in the gentlewoman ; and thus, 
although on her entrance this celebrated person failed to impress 
the company, she never failed to retire in possession of their 
respect. 

On that tour she said she was very ill treated by the mana- 
gers. The understanding was, she told me, that she was to 
receive half the profits ; yet, although the houses were invariably 
crowded, the receipts were inadequate to her expectations. 
Many of the performers who had been appointed to act with her 
were below mediocrity. One was forgetful — another drunk. I 
confess I never myself saw such a crew. All this rendered Mrs. 
Jordan miserable, and she sought relief in the exercise of her 
benevolent feelings. Among other objects of her bounty was an 
old actor called Barrett, who had played on the night of her 
d^but, and was then in most indigent circumstances. Him she 
made comfortable, and gave efficient assistance to several others 
whom she had known in former years. 

The managers (I know not why) acted toward her not with 
so much respect as everybody, except themselves, had shown that 
most amiable woman. She had found it absolutely necessary to 
refuse performing with one or two vulgar fellows belonging to 
the set whom they had selected to sustain her ; and she quitted 
the country at length, having formed a fixed determination 
never to repeat any engagement with the same persons. 

She had scarcely arrived in England when some of the 
parties, including a Mr. Dwyer, a player, quarrelled ; and 
actions for defamation were brought forward among them. A 
writer of the name of Corri also published periodical libels, in 
one of which he paid Mrs. Jordan the compliment of associ- 
ating her with the Duchess of Gordon. I and my family had 



46 



barrington's personal sketches 



likewise the honour of partaking in the abuse of that libel, and 
I prosecuted the printer. On the trial of the cause, one of the 
counsel, Mr. Thomas (now Serjeant) Gould, thought proper to 
indulge himself in language and statements respecting Mrs. 
Jordan neither becoming nor true. In cross-examining me as a 
witness, on the prosecution of the printer, he essayed a line of 
interrogation highly improper as to that lady ; but he took care 
not to go too far with me when I was present — a monosyllable 
or two I found quite sufficient to check the exuberance of " my 
learned friend and on this occasion he was not backward in 
taking a hint. The libeller was found guilty, and justly sen- 
tenced to a protracted imprisonment. 

I never knew Mrs. Jordan feel so much as at the speech of 
Mr. Gould on that occasion. As it appeared in several news- 
papers it was too bad even for a vulgar declaimer ; and when 
Mrs. Jordan's situation, her family, and her merits were con- 
sidered, it was inexcusable. I do not state this feeling of Mrs. 
Jordan solely from my own impression. I received from her a 
letter indicative of the anguish which that speech had excited 
within her ; and I should do injustice to her memory if (as she 
enjoined me to do) I did not publish in her justification an 
extract of that letter.. 

" Bushy House, Wednesday. 

" My dear Sir — Not having the least suspicion of the busi- 
ness in Dublin, it shocked and grieved me very much; not only 
on my own account, but I regret that I should have been the 
involuntary cause of anything painful to you, or to your amiable 
family. But of Mr. Jones I can think anything ; and I beg 
you will do me the justice to believe that my feelings are not 
selfish. Why indeed should I expect to escape their infamous 
calumnies ? Truth, however, will force its way. ... I 

wanted nothing from Mr. C 's generosity, but I had a claim 

on his justice 

" During the two representations of ' The Inconstant' I 
represented to him the state Mr. Dwyer was in, and implored 
him, out of respect to the audience, if not in pity to my terrors, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



47 



to change the play. As to the libel on Mr. Dwyer, charged to 
me by Mr. Gould, I never, directly or indirectly, by words or by 
writing, demeaned myself by interfering in the most remote 
degree with so wretched a concern. I knew no editor — I read 
no newspapers while in Dublin. The charge is false and 
libellous on me, published, I presume, through Mr. Goulds 
assistance. Under that view of the case, lie will feel himself 
rather unpleasantly circumstanced should I call upon him either 
to prove or disavow his assertions. To be introduced any way 
into such a business shocks and brieves me. He might have 
pleaded for his companions without calumniating me. But, for 
the present, I shall drop an irksome subject, which has already 

given me more than ordinary uneasiness — 

Yours, etc. Dora Jordan." * 

I have seen this accomplished woman in the midst of one 
of the finest families in England, surrounded by splendour, 
beloved, respected, and treated with all the deference paid to a 
member of high life. I could perceive, indeed, no offset to her 
comforts and gratification. She was, in my hearing, frequently 
solicited to retire from her profession. She was urged to forego 
all further emoluments from its pursuit ; and this single fact 
gives the contradiction direct to reports which I should feel it 
improper even to allude to further. Her constant reply was, 
that she would retire when Mrs. Siddons did ; but that her 
losses by the fire at Covent Garden, together with other inci- 
dental outgoings, had been so extensive as to induce her con- 
tinuance of the profession to replace her finances. Her promise 

* The speeches of counsel on that trial having been published in the newspapers, 
she requested my advice as to bringing an action for defamation against some of 
the parties. My reply to her was the same that had been pleasantly and adroitly 
given to myself by Sir John Doyle. 

" If you wrestle with a chimney-sweeper," said Sir John, "it is true you may 
throw your antagonist ; but you will be sure to dirty your own coat by the 
encounter." Never was there a better aphorism. Mrs. Jordan adopted it ; and 
most properly satisfied herself with despising, instead of punishing, all her 
calumniators. — {A uthor's Note. ) 



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barrington's personal sketches 



to retire with Mrs. Siddons, however, she did not act up to, but 
continued to gratify the public, with enormous profit to herself, 
down to the very last year she remained in England. It is 
matter of fact too (though perhaps here out of place) that, so 
far from a desertion of this lady, as falsely reported, to the last 
hour of her life the solicitude of her royal friend was, I believe, 
undiminished ; and though separated, for causes in no way 
discreditable to either, he never lost sight of her interest or her 
comforts. It was not the nature of his Eoyal Highness — he 
was incapable of unkindness toward Mrs. Jordan. Those reports 
had, indeed, no foundation save in the vicious representation of 
hungry or avaricious editors, or in the scurrility of those 
hackneyed and indiscriminate enemies of rank and reputation 
whose aspersions are equally a disgrace and an injury to the 
country wherein they are tolerated. 

To contribute toward the prevention of all further doubt as 
to Mrs. Jordan's unmixed happiness at the period of her resi- 
dence at Bushy, as well as to exhibit the benevolence of her 
heart and the warmth of her attachments, I will introduce at 
this point extracts from some other letters addressed to myself : 

" Bushy. 

" My dear Sir — I cannot resist the pleasure of informing 
you that your dear boy has not only passed, but passed with 
great credit, at the Military College. It gives us all the highest 
satisfaction. My two beloved boys are now at home ; they have 
both gone to South Hill to see your Edward. We shall have a 
full and merry house at Christmas; 'tis what the dear Duke 
delights in. A happier set, when altogether, I believe never yet 
existed. The ill-natured parts of the world never can enjoy the 
tranquil pleasures of domestic happiness. 

" I have made two most lucrative trips since I saw you. 
Adkinson came to see me at Liverpool : quite as poetical as ever, 
and the best-natured poet, I believe, in the world. — Yours ever 
truly, Dora Jordan." 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



49 



11 Bushy. 

" My dear Sir — I returned here on the 7th inst,, after a very 
fatiguing, though very prosperous cruise of five weeks, and found 
all as well as I could wish. Your Edward left us this morning 
for Marlow ; I found him improved in everything. I never saw 
the Duke enjoy anything more than the poultry you sent us ; 
they were delicious. He desires me to offer his best regards to 
yourself and your ladies. Lucy is gone on a visit to Lady de 
Eoos. — Yours most truly, Dora Jordan." 

" Bushy. 

" My dear Sir — T have returned here ; but, alas ! the happi- 
ness I had promised to myself has met a cruel check at finding 
the good Duke very unwell. You can scarcely conceive my 
misery at the cause of such a disappointment ; but there is every 
appearance of a favourable result not being very distant ; 'tis his 
old periodical attack, but not near so severe as I have seen it. 
I shall not write to you, as I intended, till I can announce his 
Royal Highness' recovery. I shall have neither head nor nerves 
to write, or even to think, till I am able to contribute to your 
pleasure, by announcing my own happiness and his recovery. — 
. . . &c. Dora Jordan. 

" Sir J. Barrington, 

■ Merrion Square, Dublin." 

u Bushy. 

" We have just returned from Maidenhead ; and I postponed 
writing to you till I could give you an account of Edward, who, 
with Colonel Butler, dined with us there. He looks wonderfully 
well, and the uniform becomes him extremely. On the ladies 
leaving the room, Colonel Butler gave the Duke a very favour- 
able account of him ; and I trust it will give you and Lady Bar- 
rington the more satisfaction, when I assure you that it is by no 
means a partial account. 

" I am sure you will be pleased to hear that your young 
friend Lucy is about to be married, much to my satisfaction, to 
Colonel Hawker of the 14th Dragoons. He is a most excellent 

VOL. II. E 



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man, and has a very good private property. She will make the 
best of wives. A better girl never yet lived. It makes me quite 
happy ; and I intend to give her the value of £10,000. — . . 
&c. Dora Jordan." 

The days of Mrs. Jordan continued to pass on, alternately in~ 
the exercise of a lucrative profession and the domestic enjoyment 
of an adoring family, when circumstances (which, because myste- 
rious to the public, are construed necessarily to imply culpability 
somewhere or other) occasioned a separation ; certainly an event 
most unexpected by those who had previously known the happy 
state of her connection. I was at first ignorant of it ; and it 
would be worse than presumption to enter into any converse on 
a subject at once so private, so delicate, and so interesting. 
Suffice it to say, that of all the accounts and surmises as to that 
event in wdiich the public prints w T ere pleased to indulge them- 
selves, not one was true. Indeed, I have good reason to believe 
that there was scarcely a single incident whereto that separation 
was publicly attributed, that had any degree of foundation what- 
soever. Such circumstances should ever remain known only to 
those who feel the impropriety of amusing the readers at a news- 
room with subjects of domestic pain and family importance. I 
will, however, repeat, that the separation took effect from causes 
no way dishonourable to either party ; that it was not sought for 
by the royal personage, nor necessary on the part of the lady. 
It was too hasty to be discreet, and too much influenced by feel- 
ings of the moment to be hearty. Though not unacquainted with 
those circumstances, I never presumed to make an observation 
upon the subject, save to contradict, in direct terms, statements 
which, at the time I heard them, I knew to be totally unfounded ; 
and never was the British press more prostituted than in the 
malicious colouring given, upon that occasion, to the conduct of 
his Eoyal Highness. 

General Hawker, one of the late King's aides-de-camp, had 
married Miss Jordan ; and in the punctilious honour and in- 
tegrity of this gentleman, everybody who has known him, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



51 



does rely with unmixed confidence. Such reliance his Royal 
Highness evinced by sending, through him, carte blanche to 
Mrs. Jordan, when the separation had been determined on, 
enabling her to dictate whatever she conceived would be fully 
adequate to her maintenance, without recurrence to her profes- 
sion, in all the comforts and luxuries to which she had been so 
long accustomed ; and everything she wished for was arranged 
to her satisfaction. Still, however, infatuated with attachment 
to theatrical pursuits, she continued to accept of temporary 
engagements to her great profit ; and it will perhaps scarcely be 
credited that so unsated were British audiences with Mrs. 
Jordan's unrivalled performances, that even at her time of life, 
with certainly diminished powers and an altered person, the 
very last year she remained in England brought her a clear 
profit of near £7000. I cannot be mistaken in this statement ; 
for my authority could not err on that point. The malicious 
representations, therefore, of her having been left straitened in 
pecuniary circumstances w r ere literally fabulous; for to the very 
moment of her death she remained in full possession of all the 
means of comfort — nay, if she chose it, of luxury and splendour. 
Why, therefore, she emigrated, pined away, and expired in a 
foreign country (of whose language she w r as ignorant, and in 
whose habits she was wholly unversed), with every appearance 
of necessity, is also considered a mystery by those unacquainted 
with the cruel and disastrous circumstances which caused that 
unfortunate catastrophe. It is not by my pen that miserable 
story shall be told. It was a transaction wherein her royal 
friend had, directly or indirectly, no concern, nor did it in any 
way spring out of that connection. She had, in fact, only to 
accuse herself of benevolence, confidence, and honour. To those 
demerits, and to worse than the ingratitude of others, she fell a 
lingering, broken-hearted victim. 

When his Royal Highness was informed of the determin- 
ation that Mrs. Jordan should take up a temporary residence on 
the Continent, he insisted on her retaining the attendance of 
Miss Ketchley, w T ho for many years had been attached to the 



52 



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establishment at Bushy, and was superintendent and governess 
of the Duke's children. This lady, therefore, whose sincere 
attachment had been so long and truly proved, accompanied 
Mrs. Jordan as her companion, and, to the time of her death, 
continued to administer to her comforts ; endeavouring, so far as 
in her lay, by her society and attentions, to solace the mental 
misery which pressed upon her friend's health, and had extin- 
guished her spirits. She was also accompanied by Colonel 
Hawker, the General's brother ; but, as she wished, during her 
residence in France, to be totally retired, she took no suite. She 
selected Boulogne as a place of convenient proximity to England ; 
and in a cottage half-a-mile from that town awaited with in- 
describable anxiety the completion of those affairs which had 
occasioned her departure, rapturously anticipating the happiness 
of embracing her children afresh after a painful absence. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



53 



MRS. JORDAN IN FRANCE. 

Such was the nature of the circumstances which impelled Mrs. 
Jordan to repair to the Continent ; and, after what has been 
said, the reader will not think it extraordinary that a deep 
impression was made upon her health — not indeed in the shape 
of actual disease, but by the workings of a troubled spirit, 
pondering and drooping over exaggerated misfortunes, and 
encountering obstacle after obstacle. Estranged from those 
she loved, as also from that profession the resort to which had 
never failed to restore her animation and amuse her fancy, 
mental malady soon communicated its contagion to the physical 
organisation, and sickness began to make visible inroads on the 
heretofore healthy person of that lamented lady. 

We have seen that she established herself, in the first place, 
at Boulogne-sur-Mer. A cottage was selected by her at Mar- 
quetra, about a quarter of a mile from the gate of the fortress. 
Often have I since, as if on classic ground, strolled down the 
little garden which had been there her greatest solace. The 
cottage is very small, but neat, commodious, and of a cheerful 
aspect. A flower and fruit garden of corresponding dimensions, 
and a little paddock, comprising less than half-an-acre, formed 
her demesne. In an adjoining cottage resided her old land- 
lady, Madame Ducarap, who was in a state of competence, and 
altogether an original She had married a gardener, a man much 
younger and of humbler birth than herself. I think she had 
been once handsome. Her story I never heard fully ; but it 
appeared that she had flourished during the Revolution. She 
spoke English well when she pleased ; and, like most French- 
women, when cTdge mur, was querulous, intrusive, and curious 



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beyond limitation, with as much professed good-nature as would 
serve at least fifty of our old English gentlewomen. She was 
not, in good truth, devoid of the reality as well as the semblance 
of that quality ; but she over-acted the philanthropist, and con- 
sequently did not deceive those accustomed to look lower than 
the surface. This good lady is still in statu quo, and most likely 
to remain so. 

Under colour of taking her vacant cottage for a friend, a 
party of us went to Marquetra, to learn what we could respect- 
ing Mrs. Jordan's residence there. The old lady recognised her 
name, but pronounced it in a way which it was scarcely possible 
for us to recognise. A long conversation ensued ; in some parts 
as deeply interesting, and in others nearly as ludicrous, as the 
subject could admit of. Madame Ducamp repeated to us 
a hundred times, in five minutes, that she had "beaucoup, 
beaucoup de veneration pour cette chere malheureuse dame 
Anglaise ! " who she assured us, with a deep sigh, was " sans 
doute un ange superieur I" She was proceeding to tell us every- 
thing she knew, or I suppose could invent, when, perceiving a 
child in the garden pulling the flowers, she abruptly discon- 
tinued her eulogium, and ran off to drive away the intruder- 
having done which, she returned to resume : but too late ! in 
her absence her place had been fully and fairly occupied by 
Agnes, an ordinary French girl, Madame Ducamp's bonne (ser- 
vant of all work), who we soon found was likely to prove a 
much more truth-telling person than her mistress. 

Agnes informed us, with great feeling, that "the economy of 
that charming lady was very strict : ndcessairement, je crains," 
added she, with a slow movement of her head and a truly elo- 
quent look. They had found out, she said, that their lodger 
had been once riche et magnifique, but when there she was very 
— very poor indeed. " But," exclaimed the poor girl, her eye 
brightening up, and her tone becoming firmer, " that could make 
no difference to me ! sifaime, faime ! J'ai servi cette pauvre 
dame avec le mime zele comme si elle eut 6t6 une Princesse /" 

This frank-hearted display of poor Agnes' sentiments was, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



55 



however, not in fact called for in speaking of Mrs. J ordan, since 
she might have commanded, during the whole period of her con- 
tinental residence, any sums she thought proper. She had money 
in the bank, in the funds, and in miscellaneous property, and 
had just before received several thousands. But she had become 
nearly careless as well of pecuniary as of other matters, and took 
up a whim (for it was nothing more) to affect poverty ; — thus 
deceiving the world, and giving herself a vantage-ground to the 
gossiping and censorious. 

Agnes' information went on to show that Mrs. Jordan's 
whole time was passed in anxious expectation of letters from 
England, and on the English post-days she was peculiarly 
miserable. We collected from the girl that her garden and 
guitar were her only resources against that consuming melan- 
choly which steals away even the elements of existence, and 
plunges both body and mind into a statu of morbid languor — 
the fruitful source of disease, insanity, and death. 

At this point of the story, Madame Ducainp would no longer 
be restrained, and returned to the charge with redoubled asser- 
tions of her own friendship to " the poor lady," and bonne nature 
in general. 

" Did you know her, Monsieur ?" said she : " alas ! she nearly 
broke my heart by trying to break her own!' 

" I have heard of her since I arrived here, Madame," replied 
I cautiously. 

"Ah! Monsieur, Monsieur," rejoined Madame Ducamp, "if 
you had known her as well as Agnes and I did, you w r ould have 
loved her just as much. I am sure she had been accustomed to 
grandeur, though I could never clearly make out the cause of 
her reverses. "Ah !" pursued Madame, "she was aimable et 
honnete beyond description ; and though so very poor, paid her 
louagc like a goddess." At this moment some other matter, 
perhaps suggested by the word louaye, came across the old 
woman's brain, and she again trotted off. The remaining in- 
telligence which we gathered from Agnes related chiefly to Mrs. 
Jordan's fondness for music, and her perpetual indulgence therein, 



56 



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and to her own little achievements in the musical way, whereby, 
she told us with infinite naivety she had frequently experienced 
the gratification of playing and singing Madame to sleep ! She 
said that there was some little mutual difficulty in the first place 
as to understanding each other, since the stranger was ignorant 
of the Trench language, and she herself "had not the honour" to 
speak English. "However," continued Agnes, "we formed a sort 
of language of our own, consisting of looks and signs, and in these 
Madame was more eloquent than any other person I had ever 
known." Here the girl's recollections seemed fairly to overcome 
her ; and with that apparently exaggerated sensibility which is, 
nevertheless, natural to the character of her country, she burst 
into tears, exclaiming, " ciel ! o ciel ! — elle est morte ! elle est 
morte /"* 

I cannot help thinking that the deep and indelible impres- 
sion thus made by Mrs. Jordan upon a humble unsophisticated 

* The intermixed French phrases which I have retained in sketching this con- 
versation at Marquetra may perhaps appear affected to some ; and I frankly admit 
there are few things in composition so disagreeable to me as a jumble of words 
culled from different tongues, and constituting a melange which advances no just 
claim to the title of any language whatever. But those who are accustomed to 
the familiar terms and expressive ejaculations of French colloquy, know that the 
idiomatic mode of expression alone can convey the true point and spirit of the 
dialogue, and more particularly does this observation apply to the variegated 
traits of character belonging to French females. 

The conversation with Agnes consisted, on her part, nearly of broken sentences 
throughout — I may say, almost of looks and monosyllables ! at all events, of 
simple and expressive words in a combination utterly unadapted to the English 
tongue. Let a well-educated and unprejudiced gentleman hold converse on the 
same topics with an English and a French girl, and his remarks as to the difference 
will not fail to illustrate what I have said. 

Far — very far be it from me to depreciate the fair ones of our own country. 
I believe that they are steadier and better calculated to describe facts, or to 
advise in an emergency ; but they must not be offended with me for adding, that 
in the expression of every feeling, either of a lively or tearful nature, as well as 
in the graces of motion, their elastic neighbours are immeasurably superior. Even 
their eyes speak idioms which our less pliable language cannot explain. I have 
seen humble girls in France who speak more in one second than many of our 
finest ladies could utter in almost a century ! Chaqu'un a son gout, however ; 
and I honestly confess, that a sensitive French girl would make but an ill-assorted 
match with a thorough-bred John Bull ! — (Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



57 



servant girl, exemplifies her kind and winning manners better 
than would the most laboured harangues of a whole host of 
biographers. 

Madame Ducamp meanwhile had been fidgeting about, and 
arranging everything to show off her cottage to the greatest ad- 
vantage ; and without further conversation, except as to the 
price of the tenement, we parted with mutual " assurances of the 
highest consideration." 

I renewed my visits to the old woman ; but her stories were 
either so fabulous or disconnected, and those of Agnes so un- 
varied, that I saw no probability of acquiring further informa- 
tion, and lost sight of Mrs. Jordan's situation for a considerable 
time after her departure from Boulogne. I thought it, by-the- 
by, very extraordinary that neither the mistress nor maid 
said a word about any attendant of Mrs. Jordan, even although 
it was not till long after that I heard of Colonel Hawker and 
Miss Ketchley having accompanied her from England. After 
Mrs. Jordan had left Boulogne, it appears that she repaired to 
Versailles ; and subsequently, in still greater secrecy, to St. 
Cloud, where, totally secluded, and under the name of Johnson, 
she continued to await, in a state of extreme depression and with 
agitated impatience, the answer to some letters — by which was 
to be determined her future conduct as to the distressing busi- 
ness that had led her to the Continent. Her solicitude arose 
not so much from the real importance of this affair as from her 
indignation and disgust at the ingratitude which had been dis- 
played towards her, and which, by drawing aside the curtain from 
before her unwilling eyes, had exposed a novel and painful view 
of human nature. 

I at that period occupied a large hotel adjoining the Bois de 
Boulogne. Not a mile intervened between us ; yet, until long 
after Mrs. Jordan's decease, I never heard she was in my 
neighbourhood. There was no occasion whatever for such entire 
seclusion ; but the anguish of her mind had by this time so en- 
feebled her that a bilious complaint w r as generated which gradually 
increased. Its growth, indeed, did not appear to give her much 



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uneasiness — so dejected and lost had she become. Day after 
day her misery augmented, and at length she seemed, we were 
told, actually to regard the approach of dissolution with a kind 
of placid welcome ! 

The apartments she occupied at St. Cloud were in a house in 
the square adjoining the palace. This house was large, gloomy, 
cold, and inconvenient ; just the sort of place which would tell 
in description in a romance. In fact, it looked to me almost in 
a state of dilapidation. I could not, I am sure, wander over it 
at night without a superstitious feeling. The rooms were 
numerous, but small ; the furniture scanty, old, and tattered. 
The hotel had obviously once belonged to some nobleman, and a 
long, lofty, flagged gallery stretched from one wing of it to the 
other. Mrs. Jordan's chambers were shabby : no English com- 
forts solaced her in her latter moments ! In her little drawing- 
room, a small old sofa was the best-looking piece of furniture : on 
this she constantly reclined, and on it she expired* 

* The account given to us of her last moments, by the master 
of the house, was very affecting : he likewise thought she was 
poor, and offered her the use of money, which offer was of course 
declined. Nevertheless, he said, he always considered her 
apparent poverty, and a magnificent diamond ring which she 
constantly wore, as quite incompatible, and to him inexplicable. 
I have happened to learn since, that she gave four hundred 
guineas for that superb ring. She had also with her, as I heard, 
many other valuable trinkets ; and on her death, seals were put 
upon all her effects, which I understand still remain unclaimed 
by any legal heir. 

* When I saw Mrs. Jordan's abode at St. Cloud first, it was on a dismal and 
chilly day, and I was myself in corresponding mood. Hence perhaps every cheer- 
less object was exaggerated, and I wrote on the spot the above description. I 
have again viewed the place : again beheld with melancholy interest the sofa on 
which Mrs. Jordan breathed her last. There it still, I believe, remains ; but the 
whole premises have been repaired, and an English family now has one wing, to- 
gether with an excellent garden, before overgrown with weeds : the two melan- 
choly cypress-trees I first saw there yet remain. The surrounding prospect is 
undoubtedly very fine ; but I would not, even were I made a present of that 
mansion, consent to reside in it one month. — {Author s note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



59 



From the time of her arrival at St. Cloud, it appears, Mrs. 
Jordan had exhibited the most restless anxiety for intelligence 
from England. Ever}- post gave rise to increased solicitude, and 
every letter she received seemed to have a different effect on 
her feelings. Latterly she appeared more anxious and miserable 
than usual ; her uneasiness increased almost momentarily, and 
her skin became wholly discoloured. From morning till night 
she lay sighing upon her sofa. 

At length an interval of some posts occurred during which 
she received no answers to her letters, and her consequent 
anxiety, my informant said, seemed too great for mortal strength 
to bear up against. On the morning of her death this impatient 
feeling reached its crisis. The agitation was almost fearful : 
her eyes were now restless, now fixed : her motion rapid and un- 
meaning ; and her whole manner seemed to bespeak the attack 
of some convulsive paroxysm. She eagerly requested Mr. 

C , before the usual hour of delivery, to go for her letters to 

the post. On his return, she started up and held out her hand, 
as if impatient to receive them. He told her there were none. 
She remained a moment motionless ; looked towards him with a 
vacant stare ; held out her hand again, as if by an involuntary 
action ; instantly withdrew it, and sank back upon the sofa 
from which she had arisen. He left the room to send up her at- 
tendant, who, however, had gone out, and Mr. C returned 

himself to Mrs. Jordan. On his return he observed some 
change in her looks that alarmed him : she spoke not a word, 
but gazed at him steadfastly. She wept not — no tear flowed : 
her face was one moment flushed and another livid : she sighed 
deeply, and her heart seemed bursting. Mr. C stood un- 
certain what to do ; but in a minute he heard her breath drawn 
more hardly, and, as it were, sobbingly. He was now thoroughly 
terrified : he hastily approached the sofa, and, leaning over the 
unfortunate lady, discovered that those deep-drawn sobs had im- 
mediately preceded the moment of Mrs. Jordan's dissolution. 
She was no more ! 

Thus terminated the worldly career of a woman at the very 



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head of her profession, and one of the best-hearted of her sex ! 
Thus did she expire, after a life of celebrity and magnificence, 
in exile and solitude, and literally of a broken heart ! She was 
buried by Mr. Forster, chaplain to our ambassador. 

Our informant told this little story with a feeling which 
evidently was not affected. The Trench have a mode of narrat- 
ing even trivial matters with gesticulation and detail, whereby 
they are impressed on your memory. The slightest incident they 
repeat with emphasis ; and on this occasion Mr. C com- 
pleted his account without any of those digressions in which his 
countrymen so frequently indulge. 

Several English friends at Paris, a few years ago, entered 
into a determination to remove Mrs. Jordan's body to Pere la 
Chaise, and place a marble over her grave. The subscription, 
had the plan been proceeded in, would have been ample ; but 
some (I think rather mistaken) ideas of delicacy at that time 
suspended its execution. As it is, I believe I may say, " Not a 
stone tells where she reposes!" But, Spirit of a gentle, affec- 
tionate, and excellent human being! receive the aspirations 
breathed by one who knew her virtues. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



61 



MEMO BY. 

My pursuits from my earliest days have been of my own 
selection : some of these were rather of a whimsical character ; 
others merely adopted pour passer le temps; a few of a graver 
and more solid cast. On the whole, I believe I may boast that 
few persons, if any, of similar standing in society, have had a 
greater variety of occupations than myself. 

The truth is, I never suffered my mind to stagnate one 
moment ; and unremittingly sought to bring it so far under my 
own control as to be enabled to turn its energies at all times, 
promptly and without difficulty, from the lightest pursuits to 
the most serious business, and, for the time being, to occupy it 
exclusively on a single subject.'" 

My system led me to fancy a general dabbling in all sciences, 
arts, and literature ; just sufficient to feed my intellect, and keep 
my mind busy and afloat without being overloaded : thus, I 
dipped irregularly into numerous elementary treatises, embrac- 
ing a great variety of subjects — among which even theology, 
chemistry, physic, anatomy, and architecture, were included In 
a word, I looked into every species of publication I could lay 
my hands on ; and I never have been honoured by one second 
of ennui, or felt a propensity to an hour's languor during my 
existence. 

A certain portion of external and internal variety, like 
change of air, keeps the animal functions in due activity, whilst 
it renders the mind supple and elastic, and more capable of 
accommodating itself with promptitude to those difficult and 
trying circumstances into which the vicissitudes of life may 
plunge it. I admire and respect solid learning ; but even a 

* I can't tot this ; but the reckoning is Irish, and full of that free genius which 
renders these volumes so exceedingly valuable. 



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superficial knowledge of a variety of subjects tends to excite 
that inexhaustible succession of thoughts which, at hand on 
every emergency, gives tone and vigour both to the head and 
heart, not unfrequently excluding more unwelcome visitors. 

All my life I perceived the advantage of breeding ideas : the 
brain can never be too populous, so long as you keep its inhabit- 
ants in that wholesome state of discipline, that they are under 
your command, and not you under theirs — and, above all things, 
never suffer a mob of them to come jostling each other in your 
head at the same time : keep them as distinct as possible, or it 
is a hundred to one they will make a blockhead of you at last. 

From this habit it has ensued that the longest day is always 
too short for me. When in tranquil mood I find my ideas as 
playful as kittens ; when chagrined, consolatory fancies are 
never wanting. If I grow weary of thoughts relating to the 
present, my memory carries me back fifty or sixty years with 
equal politeness and activity ; and never ceases shifting time, 
place, and person, till it beats out something that is agreeable. 

I had naturally very feeble sight : * at fifty years of age, to 
my extreme surprise, I found it had strengthened so much as to 
render the continued use of spectacles unnecessary ; and now I 
can peruse the smallest print without any glass, and can write a 
hand so minute that I know several elderly gentlemen of my 
own decimal who cannot conquer it even with their reading- 
glasses. For general use I remark that I have found my sight 
more confused by poring for a given length of time over one 
book, than in double that time when shiiting from one print to 
another, and changing the place I sat in, and, of course, the 
quality of light and reflection : to a neglect of such precautions 
I attribute many of the weak and near visions so common with 
students. 

* I have heard nothing of Barrington's wit . He was too thoughtful a man to 
care for the edges of words ; but he had vast depth. I have not space to do more 
than give Mr. Holmes's story. Holmes : " You are quite blind, Sir Jonah." 
Barrington : "'Tis well ; but did you ever hear of a cure for blindness ? " Holmes : 
"No." Barrington: "Not to see the past!" I much doubt whether literature 
retains a better saying. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



63 



But another quality of inestimable value I possess, thank 
Heaven ! in a degree which, at my time of life, if not super- 
natural, is not very far from it — a memory of the greatest 
and most wide-ranging powers : its retrospect is astonishing to 
myself, and has wonderfully increased since my necessary applica- 
tion to a single science has been dispensed with. The recollec- 
tion of one early incident of our lives never fails to introduce 
another ; and the marked occurrences of my life from childhood 
to the wroncr side of a errand climacteric are at this moment 
fresh in my memory, in all their natural tints, as at the instant 
of their occurrence. 

Without awarding any extraordinary merit either to the 
brain or to those human organs that are generally regarded as 
the seat of recollection, or rather retention of ideas, I think this 
fact may be accounted for in a much simpler way — more on 
'philosophical than on organic principles. I do not insist on my 
theory being a true one ; but as it is, like Touchstone's forest- 
treasure, " my own," I like it, and am content to hold by it " for 
better or for worse. ' 

The two qualities of the human mind with which we are 
most strongly endowed in childhood, are those of fear and 
memory ; both of which accompany us throughout all our 
worldly peregrinations — with this difference, that with age the 
one generally declines, whilst the other increases. 

The mind has a tablet whereon memory begins to engrave 
occurrences even in our earliest days, and which in old age is full 
of her handiwork, so that there is no room for any more inscrip- 
tions. Hence old people recollect occurrences long past better 
than those of more recent date ; and though an old person can faith- 
fully recount the exploits of his schoolfellows, he will scarcely 
recollect what he himself was doing the day before yesterday. 

It is also observable that the recollection, at an advanced 
period, of the incidents of childhood, does not require that 
range of memory which at first sight may appear essential ; 
neither is it necessary to bound at once over the wide gulph of 
life between sixty years and three. 



64 



bakmngton's personal sketches 



Memory results from a connected sequence of thought and 
observation ; so that intervening occurrences draw up the recol- 
lection as it were to preceding ones, and thus each fresh-excited 
act of remembrance in fact operates as a new incident. When 
a person recollects well (as one is apt to do) a correction which 
he received in his childhood, or whilst a school-boy, he probably 
owes his recollection not -to the whipping, but to the name of the 
hook which he was whipped for neglecting ; and whenever the 
book is occasionally mentioned, the whipping is recalled, revived, 
and perpetuated in the memory. 

I once received a correction at school, when learning prosody, 
for falsely pronouncing the word semisopitus ; and though this 
was between fifty and sixty years ago, I have never since heard 
prosody mentioned, but I have recollected that word, and had 
the schoolmaster and his rod clearly before my eyes. I even 
recollect the very leaf of the book whereon the word was printed. 
Every time I look into a book of poetry, I must of course think 
of prosody, and prosody suggests semisopitus, and brings before 
me, on the instant, the scene of my disgrace. 

This one example is sufficient for my theory, and proves also 
the advantage of breeding ideas, since the more links to a chain, 
the farther it reaches. 

The faculty of memory varies in individuals almost as much 
as their features. One man may recollect names, dates, pages, 
numbers, admirably, who does not well remember incidents or 
anecdotes ; — and a linguist will retain fifty thousand words, not 
one-tenth part of which a wit can bury any depth in his recol- 
lection. 

This admission may tend to excite doubts and arguments 
against the general application of my theory ; but I aim not at 
making proselytes — indeed I have only said thus much to antici- 
pate observations which may naturally be made respecting the 
extent to which my memory has carried the retention of bygone 
circumstances, and to allay the scepticism which might perhaps 
otherwise follow. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



65 



POLITICAL CONDUCT OF THE AUTHOR* 

The introduction of the following letter and extracts (though 
somewhat digressive from my original intention in compiling 
this work) is important to me, notwithstanding they relate to 
times so long past by : inasmuch as certain recent calumnies 
assiduously propagated against me demanded at my hands a 
justification of my conduct towards government at the period of 
the L'nion. With this view, the letter in question was written 
to my friend Mr. Burne. whom I requested to communicate its 
contents to my connections in Dublin, or indeed to any person 
who might have been prejudiced against me by those aspersions. 
Having, however, reason to fear that only a very partial circula- 
tion of my letter took place, I have adopted this opportunity of 
giving it full publicity by mixing it up with these sketches : — 

'• Pctris, Paie de Pachelieu, 2d May 1S25. 
■ My dear Friend — I am well aware that the reports you 
mention as to my having broken trust with the government in 
the years 1799 and 1800, had been at one period most freely 
circulated : but I could scarcely suppose the same would be 
again and lately revived, to do me injury on a very important 
concern. This has not been altogether without its operation, 
and I feel it a duty to myself unequivocally to refute such impu- 
tation. The fact is proved in few words : — I could not break 
my trust with the government, for I never accepted any trust from 
them. I never entered into any stipulation or political engage- 
ment with any government ; and every public act which I did 

* The editor has no privilege over Barrington's opinions, nor has he once given 
them a colour. Here the author is left exclusively to himself. 
VOL, II. F 



66 



B ARLINGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



— every instance of support which I gave — resulted from my 
own free agency and unbiassed judgment. 

" My first return to parliament, in the year 1790, for the city 
of Tuam, was altogether at my own expense. I had once before 
stood a contested election for Ballynakill, formerly my father's 
borough : I was under no tie nor obligation to the government : 
I had not then, nor have I ever had, any patron ; I never, in 
fact, solicited patronage : I never submitted to the dictation of 
any man in my life : my connection with government therefore 
was my own choice, and the consequent support I gave to Lord 
Westmoreland's administration, of my own free will. I liked 
Lord Buckinghamshire (Major Hobart) individually, and lived 
much in his society : I respected Lord Westmoreland highly, 
and he has always been very obliging to me during a period of 
seven-and-thirty years, whenever he had an opportunity. During 
his administration I accepted office ; and, on his recall, he recom- 
mended Lord Camden to return me to parliament. Mr. Pelham 
did so for the city of Clogher ; but made no sort of terms with 
me, directly or indirectly. In the autumn of 1798, Mr. Cooke 
wrote to me that a Union would probably be submitted to par- 
liament ; and to this communication I promptly replied, that I 
must decline all further support to any government which should 
propose so destructive a measure, at the same time tendering my 
seat. He replied, ' That I should think better of it.' 

u Lord Cornwallis came over to carry this great measure ; and 
I opposed him, Lord Castlereagh, and the Union, in every stage 
of the business, and by every means in my power, both in and 
out of parliament. Lord Cornwallis was defeated : he tried again ; 
Lord Castlereagh had purchased or packed a small majority in 
the interval, and the bill was carried. In January 1800 I re- 
ceived a letter from Lord Westmoreland, stating that as Clogher 
had been a government seat, he doubted if I could in honour 
retain it. I had already made up my mind to resign it when 
required. I mentioned the subject to Mr. Foster, the speaker, 
who thought I was not bound to resign ; however, I acceded to 
the suggestion of Lord Westmoreland, and accepted an escheator- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



67 



ship. But no office in his Majesty's gift — no power, no depriva- 
tion, would have induced me to support the Union. 

" I stood, at my own expense, a very smartly contested elec- 
tion for Maryborough, Queen's County, in which I was supported 
by Sir Eobert Staples, Mr. Cosby of Stradbally Hall, Dean 
Walsh, Colonel Pigot, Mr. Warburton (member for the county), 
the Honourable Eobert Moore (against his brother, the Marquis 
of Drogheda), etc., and by the tenantry of the present Lord Mary- 
borough. I was outvoted by a majority of three — the scale being 
turned against me by Lord Castlereagh, who sent down Lord 
Norbury, the crown-solicitor, and several such-like gentry, for 
the purpose. AVitli that election my political career concluded ; 
but I am happy and proud to state that, at its termination, I 
retained the confidence and esteem of everybody whose friend- 
ship I considered it desirable to retain. Lord Westmoreland 
bears the most unexceptionable testimony to my straightforward 
conduct : I have been honoured by his friendship, without inter- 
mission, down to the present day ; and the following extracts 
from his Lordship's letters to me, wherein he states his desire to 
bear witness to my strict conduct in my transactions with govern- 
ment, form the best refutal of all the calumnies against me. 

u Since the period of my retirement from public life, two of 
my then most intimate friends (namely, the present Chief-Justice 
Bush and the present Attorney-General Plunket) have succeeded 
beyond their most sanguine expectations, yet certainly not be- 
yond their just merits. Xo government could pass such men 
by, at the bar, if they chose to claim offices. They took the 
same, and nearly as strong an anti-Union part as I did ; but, 
after the Union, my public pursuits were nearly at an end. 
Ireland lost all charms for me ; the parliament (the source of all 
my pride, ambition, and gratification as a public man) had been 
bought and sold ; I felt myself as if nobody, — became languid, 
careless, and indifferent to everything. I was no longer in fact 
in my proper sphere : my health rapidly declined ; and I neither 
sought for, nor would have accepted, any other government office 
in Ireland. 



68 



barrington' s personal sketches 



" Most of these facts, my dear Burne, you have been long 
acquainted with ; and this is solely a recapitulation of some cir- 
cumstances which I have no other means of making generally 
known. You will use it as you think may best serve me ; and 
it only remains for me to repeat, what you already know, that 
I am most sincerely, yours ever, Jonah Barrington. 

" John Burne, Esq., K.C., 
Merrion Square." 

Extracts of letters from the Earl of Westmoreland to Sir 
Jonah Barrington, enclosed to Mr. Burne : — 

London, March 28th, 1795. 

" My dear Sir — I shall always be obliged to 

you whenever you will have the goodness to let me know what 
is going on on your side of the water, wherein I am convinced 
you will always bear a very considerable part. I must at the 
same time assure you that no man's name is more in public 
repute than your own. 

" Lord Camden left town this morning, and I have not failed 
to assure him of your talents and spirit, which were so useful 
to my government on many occasions ; and which, as I am satis- 
fied he also will find useful, so is he equally disposed, I believe, 
to give them that countenance they deserve. 

" The state of Ireland since I left you is most wonderful, but 
the reign of faction seems drawing to a close. 

* I beg to be remembered to all friends, and am, dear sir, 
yours very faithfully, Westmoreland. 
" To Jonah Barrington, Esq., one of His 
Majesty's Counsel at Law, etc. etc., 
Merrion Square, Dublin." 

Much correspondence took place between his Lordship and 
me after that period, in which he was always equally kind. In- 
deed, in that kindness he never varied : and after knowing me 
seven-and-thirty years (the most important of all revolutions 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



69 



having during that interval taken place in Ireland), and after I 
had directly and diametrically opposed, in parliament and out of 
it, his Lordship's opinion and acts upon that great question ; — 
the following extract of another letter from the same nobleman 
(dated 1817) proves that he never has changed his opinion of 
my honourable conduct toward the king's government (and per- 
mits me to state his approbation of that conduct), every part of 
which he must have well known ; since he had been, with very 
little intermission, a member of the British Cabinet during the 
entire period. 

(Abstract.) 

Paris, 19th August 1817. 

" Dear Sir — I have enclosed you a letter of 

introduction to Sir C. Stuart, and will certainly speak to him as 
you wish, and shall have great pleasure if it should prove of any 
convenience to you or your family ; and I assure you I have 
always much satisfaction in giving my testimony to the honour- 
able manner in which you have always conducted yourself in 
the political relations wherein you have stood with me. — I am 
your very faithful servant, Westmoeelaxd." 

I also added the following, by way of postscript, to my ex- 
planatory letter to Mr. Burne : — 

■ I think, my dear Burne, that after these testimonials, he 
must be a daring enemy who will re-assert the calumnies against 
me. I apprehend that few public men can show more decided 
proofs of honour and consistency, or more fair and disinterested 
conduct than I displayed when I found it necessary to oppose 
the government. I must also observe, on a principle of gratitude, 
that throughout the whole course of my public life I have uni- 
formly experienced from the government and ministers of 
England (let me here particularise Lord Stowell), at all times 
and on all occasions (whether supporting or opposing them), the 
greatest kindness, justice, and considerate attention ; together 
with a much greater interest, in any concerns of mine sub- 



70 



barrington's personal sketches 



mitted to them, than I could possibly have conceived, much less 
have expected. 

" But his Majesty's public functionaries in Ireland were men 
of a different bearing. After the surveillance of a national par- 
liament was extinguished, the country was, as it were, given 
over to them, bound hand and foot, and they at once assumed 
new powers, which before they durst not have aimed at. I 
possess knowledge respecting some of them, of the commu- 
nication of which they are not aware ; and I am not inclined to 
permit certain individuals to go to their graves without hearing 
my observations. When the proper time arrives, I shall not be 
silent. — Again, dear Burne, yours, J. Barringto-n." 

On reading over the foregoing postscript of the letter to my 
poor friend Burne (who has lately paid his debt on demand to 
Nature), some observations occur to me respecting Ireland 
herself, her parties, and species of government, not uncongenial 
to the subject of my letter. The justice of these observations 
each day's experience tends to prove ; and I firmly believe, 
every member of the British government at this moment (except 
one) views the matter precisely as I do. They find it difficult, 
however, to disentangle themselves from the opinions which 
have been so frequently expressed by them heretofore, and 
which, had they been equally informed then as now, I appre- 
hend would never have been entertained. The people of 
England, and also of some continental kingdoms, are fully aware 
of the distracted state of Ireland, but are at a loss to account for 
it. It is, however, now in proof, that twenty-seven years of 
Union have been twenty-seven years of beggary and of dis- 
turbance ; and this result, I may fairly say, I always foresaw. 
The only question now asked is, " What is to be done ? " and 
the only comment on this question that it is in my power to 
make is, " a council of peace is better than a council of war." 
Much of the unfortunate state of that country may be attributed 
to the kindred agency of two causes — namely, fanaticism in 
Ireland, and ignorance (I mean, want of true information) in 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



71 



Great Britain. The Irish are deluded by contesting factions, 
and by the predominance of a couple of watch-words ;* whilst 
the great body of the English people know as little of Ireland 
(except of its disturbances) as they do of Kamschatka ; and the 
king's ministers, being unluckily somewhat of different opinions, 
go on debating and considering what is best to be done, and 
meanwhile doing nothing ; if they do not take care, in a little 
time there will be nothing left them to do. 

I firmly believe England now means well and honourably 
to the Irish nation on all points, but think she is totally mis- 
taken as to measures. Neither honourable intentions, nor the 
establishment of Sunday-schools, nor teaching the four rules of 
arithmetic, nor Bible Societies, can preserve people from starving ; 
education is a very sorry substitute for food, and I know the 
Irish well enough to say, they never will be taught anything 
upon an empty stomach. Work creates industry, and industry 
produces the means of averting hunger ; and when they have 
work enough and food enough, they may be turned to anything. 
I speak now, of course, of the lowest orders ; the class imme- 
diately above those is very unmanageable, because supported 
by its starving inferiors, who now depend upon it alone for sub- 
sistence. The nature and materials of the present Irish con- 
stitution, indeed, appear to me totally unadapted to the necessities 
of that country. 

It is but too obvious that the natural attachment which ought 
to subsist between Great Britain and Ireland is not increasing, 
though on the due cultivation of that attachment so entirely 
depends the strength, the peace, and the prosperity of the 
United Empire ; yet I fearlessly repeat that the English members 
of the Imperial Parliament mean well by Ireland, and only re- 
quire to ascertain her true circumstances to act for her 
tranquillisation. Politically they may be sure that the imperium 

* An ancient law still appears among the statutes of Ireland, to prohibit the 
natives of that country from using the terms Crum-a-boo, and Butler-a-hoo, as 
being the watch-words of two most troublesome hostile factions, which kept, at 
the period of the proKibition, the whole nation in a state of uproar. — (Author's 
note.) 



72 



barrington's personal sketches 



in imjperio, as at present operating in that country, is not 
calculated to reform it. The protecting body of the country 
gentlemen have evacuated Ireland, and in their stead we now 
find official clerks, griping agents, haughty functionaries, proud 
clergy, and agitating demagogues. The resident aristocracy of 
Ireland, if not quite extinguished, is hourly diminishing ; and 
it is a political truism, that the co-existence of an oligarchy 
without a cabinet ; of a resident executive and an absent legis- 
lature ; of tenants without landlords, and magistracy without 
legal knowledge ; — must be, from its nature, as a form of con- 
stitution, at once incongruous, inefficient, and dangerous. No- 
body can appreciate the native loyalty of the Irish people better 
than his present Majesty, whose reception in Ireland was 
enthusiastic ; they adored him when he left it, and amidst 
millions of reputed rebels, he wanted no protection — every man 
would have been his life-guard ! I speak not, however, of cor- 
porations or guilds, of gourmands or city feasters ; these have 
spoken for themselves, and loudly too. His Majesty's wise and 
paternal orders were ridiculed and disobeyed by them the very 
moment his back was turned ! With such folks the defunct 
King William seems more popular than the living King George. 

Good government, and the sufferance of active local factions, 
are, in my view of things, utterly incompatible. Faction and 
fanaticism (no matter on which side ranged) ought to be put 
down to the ground — gently, if possible ; but if a strong hand be 
necessary, it should not be withheld. The spectator often sees 
the game better than the player, and in Ireland it has now 
proceeded too far to be blinked at. The British cabinet may be 
somewhat divided ; but they will soon see the imperative 
necessity of firmness and unanimity. It is scandalous that the 
whole empire should thus be kept in a state of agitation by the 
pretended theological animosities of two contending sects — a 
great proportion of whose respective partisans are in no way 
influenced by religion — the true object of their controversy being 
" who shall get the uppermost ? " 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



73 



SCENES AT HAYEE DE GEACE. 

On the abdication of the Emperor Napoleon in the year 1814, 
my curiosity was greatly excited to view the alteration which 
different revolutions, a military government, and a long- 
protracted warfare, must necessarily have made in the manners, 
habits, and appearance of the French people. My ardent 
desire to see the Emperor himself had been defeated by his 
abdication, and no hope remained to me of ever enjoying that 
pleasure. 

The royal family of France I had the honour of meeting 
often in society during the long visit with which they favoured 
the British nation — the last time was at Earl Moira's, one of 
their most zealous friends. My curiosity on that score was 
therefore quite satisfied. I had also known many, and had 
formed a very decisive opinion as to most, of their countrymen, 
who had, like themselves, emigrated to England ; nor has the 
experience acquired during my residence in France at all 
tended to alter the nature of that opinion. Some of these men 
have, I fear, the worst memories of any people existing ! — indeed, 
it should seem that, since their return home, they must have 
drunk most plentifully of Lethe. 

I was extremely desirous also to see the persons who had 
rendered themselves so conspicuous during the long and mighty 
struggle wherein the destinies of Europe were all at stake — the 
great heroes both of the field and cabinet ; and therefore, upon 
the restoration of King Louis, I determined to visit Paris, the 
rather as my family were infected with the same curiosity as 
myself. 

Accordingly we set out on our journey, taking Havre de 
Grace in our route to the metropolis. I was then in a very 



74 



barrington's personal sketches 



declining state of health, and consequently unnerved and 
incapable of much energy, either mental or corporeal. On 
arriving at Havre, I was so captivated by the fine air and 
beautiful situation of the Coteau d'Ingouville (rising imme- 
diately over the town), that we determined to tarry there a few 
months, and visit Paris in the spring, when my health and 
strength should be renovated ; and never did any person recover 
both so rapidly as I did during the short period of my sojourn 
on that spot. 

Doctor Sorerie, the first physician at Havre, told me that he 
divided the hill of Ingouville into three medical compartments. 
" The summit," said he, " never requires the aid of a physician ; 
the middle portion only twice a-year ; the base always." His 
fanciful estimate, he assured me, was a perfectly true one ; and, 
on the strength of that assurance, I rented the beautiful cottage 
on the summit of the hill, called the Pavilion Poulet, now 
occupied, I believe, by the American consul. All around was 
new to me ; of course I was the more observing ; and the result 
of my observations was, that I considered Havre, even in 1815, 
as being at least a hundred years behind England in everything. 
Tea was only sold there as a species of medicine at the apo- 
thecaries' shops ; and articles of cotton manufacture were in 
general more than double the price of silk fabrics. The market 
was very good and very moderate ; the hotels most execrable. 
But the most provoking of all things which I found at Havre 
was the rate of exchange: the utmost I could get for a one- 
pound Bank of England note was sixteen francs ; or for an 
accepted banker's bill sixteen francs and a half to the pound 
(about fourteen shillings for my twenty). This kind of thing, 
in profound peace, surprised me, and the more particularly as 
the English guinea was at a premium, and the smooth English 
shilling at a high premium. 

A visit paid to the Continent after so very long an exclusion 
really made one feel as if about to explore a kind of terra 
incognita, and gave everything a novel and perhaps over- 
important character to the traveller. In a country altogether 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



75 



strange, ordinary occurrences often assume the dignity of 
adventures ; and incidents which at home would scarcely have 
been noticed, become invested on the sudden with an air of 
interest. Our fellow-countrymen are too apt to undervalue 
everything which differs from their own established ways either 
of acting or thinking. For this overbearing spirit they have 
been and are plentifully and justly quizzed by the natives of 
other countries. Yet they exhibit few signs of amendment. 
An Englishman seems to think it matter of course that lie must 
be lord of the ascendent wherever he travels, and is sometimes 
reminded of his mistake in a manner anything but gentle. The 
impatience he constantly manifests of any foreign trait, whether 
of habit or character, is really quite amusing. If Sterne's Maria 
had figured away at Manchester, or his Monk at Liverpool, both 
the one and the other would have been deemed fit objects either 
for a madhouse or house of correction ; probably the girl would 
have been committed by his worship the mayor to Bedlam, and 
the old man to the treadmill. In fact Yorick's refined senti- 
ment in France would be gross nonsense at Birmingham ; and 
La Fleur's letter to the corporal's wife be considered as decided 
evidence of crim. con. by an alderman of Cripplegate. 

As for myself, I have of late felt a sort of medium sensation. 
As men become stricken in years, a species of venerable insi- 
pidity insinuates itself amongst their feelings. A great propor- 
tion of mine had turned sour by long keeping, and I set out on 
my travels without one quarter of the good nature which I had 
possessed thirty years before. My palate was admirably dis- 
posed at the time to feast upon novelties, of which I had made 
up my mind to take a full meal, and thought I should be all the 
better prepared by a few months of salubrious air and rural 
tranquillity. 

The interval, however, which I had thus devoted to quiet 
and thorough reinstatement of health upon the breezy and 
delightful Coteau d'Ingouville, and which I expected would 
flow on smoothly for some months (without the shadow of an 
adventure, or indeed anything calculated to interfere with my 



76 



barpjngton's personal sketches 



perfect composure), turned out to be one filled with the most 
extraordinary occurrences which have ever marked the history 
of Europe. 

The sudden return of Napoleon from Elba, and the speedy 
flight of the French king and royal family from the Tuilleries, 
without a single effort being made to defend them, appeared to 
me, at the time, of all possible incidents the most extraordinary 
and the least expected. The important events which followed in 
rapid and perplexing succession afforded me scope for extensive 
observation, whereof I did not fail to take advantage. My 
opportunities were indeed great and peculiar ; but few, com- 
paratively, of my fellow-countrymen had as yet ventured into 
France. Those who did avail themselves of the conclusion of 
peace in 1814, fled the country in dismay on the return of "the 
child and champion of Jacobinism whilst I, by staying there 
throughout his brief second reign, was enabled to ascertain facts 
known to very few in England, and hitherto not published by any. 

At Havre it appeared clearly to me that Napoleon, during 
his absence, was anything but forgotten or disesteemed. The 
Empress, when there, had become surprisingly popular amongst 
all classes of people ; and the misfortunes of her husband had 
only served to render his memory more dear to his brother- 
soldiers, by whom he was evidently still regarded as their 
general and their prince. In truth, not only by the soldiers, but 
generally by the civic ranks, Louis, rather than Napoleon, was 
looked on as the usurper. 

There were two regiments of the line at Havre, the officers 
of which made no great secret of their sentiments, whilst the 
men appeared to me inclined for anything but obedience to the 
Bourbon dynasty. The spirit which I could not help seeing in 
full activity here, it was rational to conclude, operated in other 
parts of the kingdom, and the justice of this inference was sud- 
denly manifested by the course of events. 

We were well acquainted with the colonel and superior 
officers of one of the regiments then in garrison. The colonel, a 
very fine soldier-like man, about forty-five, with the reputation 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



of being a brave officer, and an individual at once candid, liberal, 
and decided, was singularly frank in giving his opinions on all 
public subjects. He made no attempt to conceal his indestruc- 
tible attachment to Napoleon ; and I should think (for his ten- 
dencies must necessarily have been reported to the government) 
that he was continued in command only from a consciousness 
on their part, that, if they removed him, they must at the same 
moment have disarmed and disbanded the regiment — a measure 
which the Bourbon family was then by no means strong enough 
to hazard 

On one occasion, the colonel, in speaking to me whilst com- 
pany was sitting around us, observed, with a sardonic smile, that 
his master, Louis, was not quite so firmly seated as his tmigrte 
seemed to think. " The puissant allies," continued he, sneering 
as he spoke, "may change a king, but'' (and his voice rose the 
while) " they cannot change a people." 

Circumstances, in fact, daily conspired to prove to me that 
the army was still Xapoleon's. The surgeon of that same regi- 
ment was an Italian, accounted very clever in his profession, 
good-natured, intelligent, and obliging ; but so careless of his 
dress that he was generally called by us the " dirty doctor." 
This person was less anxious even than his comrades to conceal 
his sentiments of men and things, both politically and generally ; 
never failing, whether in public or private, to declare his opinion 
and his attachment to "the exile." 

A great ball and supper was given by the prefects and other 
authorities of Havre, in honour of Louis le De'sirf s restoration. 
The affair was very splendid. We were invited, and went 
accordingly. I there perceived our dirty doctor, dressed most 
gorgeously in military uniform, but not that of his regiment. I 
asked him to what corps it appertained. He put his hand to 
his mouth, and whispered me, " C'est l'uniforme de mon cceur!" 
(" 'Tis the uniform of my heart ! ") It was the dress uniform of 
Xapoleon's old guard, in which the doctor had served. The 
incident spoke a volume ; and as to the sentiments of its wearer, 
it was decisive. 



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About six weeks after that incident, two small parties of 
soldiers of the garrison passed repeatedly through the market- 
place, on a market-day, with drawn swords, nourishing them in 
the air, and crying incessantly, 61 Vive Napoleon ! vive l'Em- 
pereur!" but they did not manifest the slightest disposition 
towards riot or disturbance, and nobody appeared either to be 
surprised at or to mind them much. I was speaking to a 
French officer at the time, and he, like the rest of the spectators, 
showed no wish to interfere with these men, or to prohibit the 
continuance of their exclamations, nor did he remark in any 
way upon the circumstance. I hence naturally enough inferred 
the state of public feeling, and the very slight hold which Louis 
le Desire then had upon the crown of his ancestors. 

A much more curious occurrence took place, when a small 
detachment of Eussian cavalry, which had remained in France 
from the termination of the campaign, were sent down to Havre, 
there to sell their horses and embark for their native country. 
The visit appeared to me to be a most unwelcome one to the in- 
habitants of the place, and still more so, as might be expected, 
to the military stationed there. The Eussians were very fine- 
looking fellows, of large size, but with a want of flexibility in 
their limbs and motions ; and were thence contrasted rather un- 
favourably with the alert French soldiery, who, in manoeuvring 
and rapid firing, must have had a great advantage over the 
northern stiffness. 

I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted at Havre with 
Mr. Wright, a very respectable gentleman, and I believe by 
affinity a nephew of Mr. Windham. We had been in a cafe to- 
gether, and were returning to our hotel about ten o'clock at 
night, when we saw a small assemblage of people collected at 
the church door in the main street. There were some women 
amongst them, and they seemed earnestly employed on some 
business which the total darkness of the night prevented us from 
seeing. There was in fact no light around save one glimmering 
lamp in the porch of the church door, where the people appeared 
fairly knotted together. There was scarcely any noise made 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



79 



above a sort of buzz, or, as it were, rather a suppression of voices. 
Mr. Wright remained stationary whilst I went across the street 
to reconnoitre ; and after a good deal of peeping over shoulders 
and under arms, I could perceive that the mob was in the act 
of deliberately cutting off the ears of two powerful-looking 
Russian soldiers, who were held so fast by many men, that they 
had not the least capability of resistance. They seemed to bear 
the application of the blunt knives of their assailants with con- 
siderable fortitude, and the women were preparing to complete 
the trimming with scissors ; but one glance was quite enough 
for me ! I got away as quick as thought ; and as the circum- 
stance of Mr. Wright wearing mustaches might possibly cost him 
his ears, I advised him to get into a house as soon as possible : 
he took to his heels on the suggestion, and I was not slow in 
following. The next day I saw one of the Russians in the street 
with a guard to protect him — his head tied up with bloody 
cloths, and cutting altogether a most frightful figure. All the 
French seemed highly diverted, and shouted out their congratu- 
lations to the Eussian, who, however, took no manner of notice 
of the compliment. 

I believe the authorities did all they could in this affair to 
apprehend the trimmers, but unsuccessfully. Some individuals 
were, it is true, taken up on suspicion ; but as soon as the 
Russians were embarked, they were liberated. In fact, the local 
dignitaries knew that they were not as yet sufficiently strong to 
enforce punishment for carving a Russian. 

I often received great entertainment from sounding many of 
the most respectable Frenchmen whose acquaintance I made at 
Havre, with regard to their political tendencies ; and the result 
as well of my queries as of my observations led me to perceive 
that there were not wanting numerous persons by whom the 
return of Bonaparte, sooner or later, was looked forward to as 
an occurrence by no means either violently improbable or 
undesirable. 

Nevertheless, no very deep impression was made on my mind 
as to these matters, until one morning Lady Barrington, returning 



80 



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from Havre, brought me a small printed paper, announcing the 
Emperor's actual return from Elba, and that he was on his 
route for Paris. I believed the evidence of my eyesight, on 
reading the paper, but I certainly did not believe its contents. 
I went off immediately to my landlord, Mons. Poulet, a great 
royalist, and his countenance explained circumstances sufficiently 
before I asked a single question. The sub-prefect soon left the 
town ; but the intelligence was scarcely credited, and not at all 
to its full extent. I went into every cafe and public place, and 
through every street. In all directions I saw groups of people, 
anxious and busily engaged in converse ; I was much amused 
by observing the various effects of the intelligence on persons of 
different opinions, and by contrasting the countenances of those 
who thronged the thoroughfares. 

I did not myself give credence to the latter part of this in- 
telligence — namely, that Bonaparte was on his way to Paris. 
I could not suppose that the king had found it impracticable to 
command the services of a single regiment ; and it must be con- 
fessed that his Majesty, a man of excellent sense, had, under 
all the circumstances, made a very bad use of his time in acquir- 
ing popularity, either civil or military. Notwithstanding the 
addition of Desire* to his Christian name (wherewith it had been 
graced by Messieurs les emigres), it is self-evident that outward 
demonstrations alone had been conceded to him of respect and 
attachment. I never heard that nickname appropriated to him at 
Havre, by-the-by, except by the prefects and revenue officers. 

The dismal faces of the Bourbonites, the grinning ones of the 
Bonapartists, and the puzzled countenances of the neutrals, were 
mingled together in the oddest combinations : throughout the 
town everybody seemed to be talking at once, and the scene was 
undoubtedly of the strangest character, in all its varieties. Joy, 
grief, fear, courage, self-interest, love of peace, and love of battle 
— each had its votaries. Merchants, priests, douaniers, military 
officers, were strolling about, each apparently influenced by some 
distinctive grade of feeling : one sensation alone seemed common 
to all — that of astonishment. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



81 



The singularity of the scene every moment increased. On 
the day immediately ensuing, fugitives from Paris, full of news 
of all descriptions, came in as quick as horses and cabriolets 
could brim* them. Bulletin after bulletin arrived — messenger 
after messenger ! But all the dispatches, in any shape official, 
combined in making light of the matter. The intelligence com- 
municated by private individuals, however, was very con- 
tradictory. One, for instance, stated positively that the army 
had declared ayainst Napoleon ; another that it had declared for 
him ; a third that it had not declared at all ! One said that 
Napoleon was surrounded : — "Yes," returned a bystander, "but 
it is by his friends !" Towards evening every group seemed to 
be quite busy making up their minds as to the news of the day, 
and the part they might think it advisable to take ; as for the 
English, they were frightened out of their wits, and the women 
had no doubt that they should all be committed to gaol before 
next morning. 

I observed, however, that amidst all this bustle, and mass of 
conflicting opinions, scarce a single priest was visible : these 
cunning gentry had (to use a significant expression) determined, 
if possible, " not to play their cards till they were sure what was 
trumps." On the preceding Sunday they had throughout the 
entire day been chanting benedictions on Louis le Desire and on 
St. Louis his great-grandfather; but on the Sabbath which 
followed, if they chanted at all (as they were bound to do), they 
would necessarily run a great risk of chanting for the last time 
in their lives, if they left out Napoleon ; and, inasmuch as they 
were unable to string together Louis le Desire, Napoleon, and St. 
Louis, in one beuedicite, a most distressing dilemma became in- 
evitable amongst the clergy ! Common sense, however, soon 
pointed out their safest course : a plea of compulsion, operating 
on the meek resignation of their holy trade, might serve as an 
excellent apology, on the part of an ecclesiastical family, in the 
presumption of Louis's becoming victor ; but in the Emperor, 
they had to deal with a different sort of person, as they well 
knew — with a man who would not be put off with unmeaning 

VOL. II. G 



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excuses, and in due homage to whom it would be dangerous to 
fail. Under all circumstances, therefore, they took up a line of 
conduct which I cannot but think was very wise and discreet, 
proceeding as it did upon the principle " of two evils choose the 
less." Their loyalty was decided by their fears, which sufficed 
to stimulate the whole body of priests and cures at Havre, old 
and young, to uplift their voices with becoming enthusiasm in 
benediction of "Napoleon le Grand !" indeed they seemed to be 
of opinion that, having taken their ground, it would be as well 
to appear in earnest ; and never did they work harder than in 
chanting a Te Deum laudamus in honour of their old master's 
return : to be serious, I believe they durst not have done other- 
wise ; for I heard some of the military say very decidedly, that 
if the priests played any tricks upon the occasion, they would 
hash them ! 

The observation which surprised me most of all was, that 
though the two parties had declared themselves, and the fleur- 
de-lis and eagle were displayed in direct opposition to each other 
throughout the town ; — though the sub-prefect had run away, 
whilst the tricoloured flag was floating in one place, and the 
white one in another, — no practical animosity or ill blood what- 
soever broke out amongst the respective partisans. The bustle 
somewhat resembled that of an English election, but had none of 
the violence or dissipation, and only half the noise, which circu- 
late on those august occasions. On the contrary, civility was 
maintained by every one : the soldiers were very properly kept 
in their barracks ; and an Englishman could scarcely conceive so 
polite, peaceable, temperate, and cheerful a revolution — more 
particularly as neither party could tell on which side the treason 
would ultimately rest. 

At length, orders came from Napoleon, at Lyons, that the 
imperial army should be recruited ; whilst, at the very moment 
this order arrived, some of the merchants and officers of the 
national guards were actually beating up for the royal armament. 
The drums of the respective partisans rattled away through every 
street, and the recruiters often passed each other with the utmost 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



83 



courtesy : not one man was seen in a state of intoxication on 
either side. Meanwhile there was no lack of recruits to range 
themselves under either standard ; and it was most curious to 
observe that these men very frequently changed their opinions 
and their party before sunset ! I think most recruits joined the 
king's party : his Serjeants had plenty of money, whilst Napoleon's 
had none ; and this was a most tempting distinction — far better 
than any abstract consideration of political benefit. Many of 
the recruits managed matters even better than the priests, for 
they took the king's money in the morning, and the emperors 
cockade in the afternoon ; so that they could not be accused on 
either side of unqualified partiality. The votaries of U D4sir4 
and le Grand were indeed so jumbled and shuffled together (like 
a pack of cards when on the point of being dealt), that nobody 
could possibly decipher which had the best chance of suc- 
ceeding. 

The English alone cast a dark and gloomy shade over the 
gay scene that surrounded them ; their lengthened visages, sunken 
eyes, and hanging features, proclaiming their terror and despond- 
ency. Every one fancied he should be incarcerated for life, if he 
could not escape before Napoleon arrived at Paris, which seemed 
extremely problematical ; and I really think I never saw a set of 
men in better humour for suicide than my fellow-countrymen, 
who stalked like ghosts along the pier and sea-side. 

The British Consul, Mr. Stuart (a litterateur and a gentleman, 
but whose wine generally regulated his nerves, whilst his nerves 
governed his understanding), as good-natured a person as could 
possibly be about a couple of bottles after dinner (for so he counted 
his time — a mode of computation in which he certainly was as 
regular as clock-work), called a general meeting of all the British 
subjects in Havre, at his apartments ; and after each had taken 
a bumper of Madeira to George the Third, he opened the busi- 
ness in as long and flowery a harangue, in English and Latin, 
as the grape of Midi and its derivative distillations could possibly 
dictate. 

n My friends and countrymen," said Mr. Stuart, " I have good 



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Consular reasons for telling you all, that if Bonaparte gets into 
Paris, he will order every mother's babe of you — men, women, 
and children, et cetera — into gaol for ten or twelve years at the 
least computation ! and I therefore advise you all, magnus, major, 
maximus, to take yourselves off without any delay great or small, 
and thereby save your bacon whilst you have the power of doing 
so. Don't wait to take care of your property ; — nulla bona is 
better than nulla libertas. As for me, I am bound ex officio to 
devote myself for my country ! I will risk my life (and here he 
looked sentimental) to protect your property ; I will remain 
behind!" 

The conclusion of the Consul's speech was a signal for the 
simultaneous uplifting of many voices. — " I'll be off certainly !" 
exclaimed one terrified gentleman: — "Everyman for himself, 
God for us all, and the devil take the hindmost!" shouted 
another : — "Do you mean to affront me, sir?" demanded the 
worthy self-devoted Consul, starting from his seat. A regular 
uproar now ensued ; but the thing was soon explained and tran- 
quillity restored. 

Two ships were now forthwith hired, at an enormous price, 
to carry the English out of the reach of Bonaparte. The wind 
blew a gale, but no hurricane could be so terrific as Napoleon. 
Their property was a serious consideration to my fellow-country- 
men ; however, there was no choice ; they therefore packed up 
all their small valuables, and relinquished the residue to the 
protection of Providence and the Consul. 

In a short time all was ready, and, as Mr. Stuart had 
advised, men, women, children, and lap-dogs, all rushed to the 
quay ; whilst, in emulation of the orator at the Consul's, " the 
devil take the hindmost," if not universally expressed, was 
universally the principle of action. Two children, in this most 
undignified sort of confusion, fell into the sea, but were picked 
up. The struggling, screeching, scrambling, etc., were at length 
completed ; and in a shorter time than might be supposed the 
English population were duly shipped, and away they went 
under a hard gale. Dr. Johnson calls a ship a prison with the 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



85 



chance of being drowned in it ; and as if to prove the correct- 
ness of the Doctor's definition, before night was over one vessel 
was ashore, and the whole of its company just on the point of 
increasing the population of the British Channel. 

Havre de Grace being thus emptied of the King of England's 
subjects, who were " saving their bacon" at sea in a violeut hur- 
ricane, the Consul began to take care of their property ; but 
there being a thing called loycr, or rent, in France as well as in 
England, the huissiers (bailiffs) of the town saved the Consul a 
great deal of trouble respecting his guardianship in divers 
instances. Nevertheless, so far as he could, he most faithfully 
performed his promise to the fugitives, for the reception of whose 
effects he rented a large storehouse, and so far all was wisely, 
courteously, and carefully managed ; but not exactly recollecting 
that the parties did not possess the property as tenants in com- 
mon, the worthy Consul omitted to have distinct inventories taken 
of each person's respective chattels, though, to avoid any risk of 
favouritism, he had all jumbled together ; and such a hetero- 
geneous medley was perhaps never seen elsewhere. Clothes, 
household furniture, kitchen utensils, books, linen, empty bottles, 
musical instruments, etc., strewed the floor of the storehouse in 
" most admired disorder." All being safely stowed, locks, bolts, 
and bars were elaborately constructed to exclude such as might 
feel a disposition to picking and stealing ; but, alas ! the best 
intentions and the most cautious provisions are sometimes frus- 
trated by accident or oversight. In the present instance, in his 
extraordinary anxiety to secure the door, Mr. Stuart was 
perfectly heedless of the roof, and in consequence, the intrusion 
of the rain, which often descended in torrents, effectually saved 
most of the proprietors the trouble of identifying their goods 
after the result of the glorious battle of Waterloo. Disputes 
also were endless as to the right and title of various claimants 
to various articles ; and in the result, the huissiers and the land- 
lord of the storehouse were once more intruders upon the pro- 
tected property. 

To return — Havre being completely evacuated by my 



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countrymen, it now became necessary to strike out some line of 
proceeding for myself and family. Sir William Johnson, who 
was in the town, had participated in the general alarm, and had 
set off with his household for the Netherlands, advising me to 
do the same. I was afterwards informed that they all foundered 
in a dyke near Antwerp : I am ignorant whether or not there is 
any foundation for this story — I sincerely hope there is not. In 
the meantime the transformation of things at Havre became 
complete, and perfect order quickly succeeded the temporary 
agitation. The tricoloured flag was again hoisted at the port ; 
and all the painters of the town were busily employed in 
changing the royal signs into imperial ones. One auberge, 
Louis le Desire, was changed into a Hue hoar ; the Duchesse 
d'Angouleme became the Virgin Mary ; royal was new-gilt into 
imperial once more at the lottery offices ; fleurs-de-lis were 
metamorphosed, in a single day, into beautiful spread-eagles; and 
the Due de Berry, who had hung creaking so peaceably on his 
post before the door of a hotel, became, in a few hours, St. Peter 
himself, with the keys of Heaven dangling from his little finger ! 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



87 



COMMENCEMENT OF THE HUNDRED DAYS. 

To see Napoleon, or not to see Napoleon, — that was the ques- 
tion ! and well weighed it was in my domestic republic. After 
a day's reasoning pro and con (curiosity being pitted against 
fear, and women in the question), the matter was still undecided 
when our friends the Colonel and the dirty Doctor came to visit 
us, and set the point at rest, by stating that the regiments at 
Havre had declared unanimously for the Emperor, and that the 
Colonel had determined to march next day direct upon Paris ; 
that therefore if we were disposed to go thither, and would set 
off at the same time, the Doctor should take care of our safety, 
and see that we had good cheer on our journey to the metropolis. 

This proposal was unanimously adopted ; we were at peace 
with France, and might possibly remain so : and the curiosity 
of three ladies, with my own to back it, proved to be totally 
irresistible. A new sub-prefect also having arrived in the town, 
came to see us ; expressed his regret that the English should 
have deemed it necessary to quit the place ; and gave us a letter 
of introduction to his wife, who lived in the Rue St. Honore, at 
Paris. 

AVe immediately packed up ; I procured three stout horses 
to my carriage, and away we went after the advanced guard of 
the (as well as I recollect) 41st regiment. The soldiers seemed 
to me as if they thought they never could get to Napoleon soon 
enough : they marched with surprising rapidity ; and after a 
most agreeable journey, we arrived at the good city of Paris 
without any let or hindrance ; having experienced from the 
dirty doctor every possible attention. We were sure of the best 
cheer at any place we halted at ; and the more so as the advanced 
guard only preceded us one stage, and the main body of the troops 



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was a stage behind us. We were immediately escorted by four 
mounted soldiers, who were in attendance upon our medical 
friend. I have learnt since that this kind and firm-hearted man 
escaped the campaign and returned to Italy; the colonel was 
shot dangerously at Quatre Bras, but I understand his wounds 
did not prove mortal. 

Our route from Havre to Paris exhibited one general scene 
of peace and tranquillity, not dashed by the slightest symptom 
of revolution. The national guards everywhere appeared to have 
got new clothing, and were most assiduously learning in the 
villages to hold up their heads, and take long strides and lock 
steps, but (for anything that appeared to the contrary) solely for 
their own amusement. The same evidences of undisturbed 
serenity and good humour were displayed in all directions, and 
the practice of military exercises by the national guards was the 
only warlike indication of any kind throughout the whole extent 
of country we traversed. 

On our arrival at the capital, we found no exception therein 
to the tranquillity of the provinces. People at a distance are apt 
to conceive that a revolution must necessarily be a most terrific 
affair — a period of anarchy and confusion, when everything is in 
a state of animosity, bustle, and insecurity. This is in some 
instances a great mistake ; for, on the other hand, many modern 
revolutions have been effected, governments upset, dynasties 
annihilated, and kings trucked, with as little confusion as the 
exchanging a gig-horse. I have, indeed, seen more work made 
about the change of a hat than of a diadem ; — more anxiety 
expressed touching a cane than a sceptre ; — and never did any 
revolution more completely prove the truth of these remarks 
than that in Prance during March 1815, when Napoleon quietly 
drove up post, in a chaise and four, to the palace of the Bourbons, 
and Louis XVIII. as quietly drove off post, in a chaise and four, 
to avoid his visitor. Both parties, too, were driven back again 
within three months, pretty nearly in the same kind of vehicle ! 
Let my reader compare, for his edification, this bloodless revolu- 
tion with the attempt at revolution in the obscure corner of the 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



89 



globe from whence I sprang, anno Domini 1*798 ; — during the 
brief summer of which year there was, in secluded Ireland (the 
kingdom of Ireland, as it was then called), more robbery, shoot- 
ing, hanging, burning, piking, flogging, and picketing, than takes 
place in half-a-dozen of the best got-up continental revolutions 
— always excepting that great convulsion which agitated our 
neighbours towards the close of the eighteenth century. 

During the interval of the Hundred Days, and some time 
subsequently, I kept a regular diary, wherein I accurately took 
down every important circumstance, except some few which I 
then considered much safer in my mind than under my hand ; 
and these are now, for the most part, and for the first time, sub- 
mitted to the public. After a few days' stay in Paris, I began 
to feel rather awkward. I found very few of my fellow-country- 
men had remained there, and that there seemed to exist but little 
partiality towards the English. But the police was perfect, and 
no outrage, robbery, or breach of the peace was heard of ; nor 
could I find that there were any political prisoners in the gaols, 
or, in fact, many prisoners of any kind. No dissolutes were 
suffered to parade the streets or contaminate the theatres ; and 
all appeared polite, tranquil, and correct. I kept totally clear, 
meanwhile, both in word and deed, of political subjects. 

I hired, as footman, a person then very well known in Paris, 
Henry Thevenot. I have since heard (but cannot vouch for the 
fact) that he is the Thevenot who attended Mr. Wakefield and 
Miss Turner. I have likewise recently been apprised that, at 
the time I engaged him, he was actually on the cspionnage estab- 
lishment. Be that as it may, I certainly always considered 
Thevenot to be a mysterious kind of person, and, on one particu- 
lar occasion, which will be hereafter mentioned, discharged him 
suddenly without enlarging on my reasons : he was, however, 
an excellent servant. I had brought a passport from the new 
Sous-Prefet at Havre, which having lodged at the police-office, I 
felt quite at my ease ; but, reflecting afterwards upon the pro- 
bable consequence in case of war or change of circumstances, I 
determined at once to take a bold step and go to the Palais de 



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Bourbon Elysee (where Napoleon resided), to see Count Bertrand, 
whom I proposed to inform truly of my situation, and ask for a 

sauf conduit or passport to return. 

On the second day whereon I made an attempt to see him, 
with difficulty I succeeded in obtaining an audience. I told the 
Count who I was, and all the facts, together with my doubts as 
to the propriety of remaining. He very politely said I should 
have what I required ; but that a gentleman in my station was 
perfectly safe, and there could be no difficulty as to my remain- 
ing as long as I chose, and concluded by bowing me out, after a 
very short interview. As I was going down the steps, an officer 
recalled me, and asked if I had any family in Paris. I replied 
in the affirmative — three ladies ; mutual bows ensued, and I 
returned very well satisfied with the result of my visit to the 
Palais de Bourbon Elysee. At that time the Emperor was 
employed day and night on business in the palace ; at daybreak 
he occasionally rode out, with some of his staff, to inspect the 
works at Montmartre ; and, on hearing this, my ancient curiosity 
to see so distinguished a person came afresh upon me. 

The ensuing day, a man with a large letter-box buckled 
before him entered our apartment without the least ceremony, 
and delivered a letter, with <f Bertrand" signed at the corner. 
I was rather startled at the moment, as the occurrence cer- 
tainly looked singular. Nevertheless, the man's appearance 
and manner were not such as to confirm unpleasant surmises, 
and I proceeded to unseal the envelope, which inclosed a billet 
to the Commissaire de Police, desiring him to grant me a sauf 
conduit through any part of Prance, if I chose to travel in that 
country, and an especial passport to Calais, should I choose to 
return to England (the signature was not that of Bertrand). The 
packet also contained a polite note from an aide-de-camp of the 
Count, mentioning that he was directed to enclose me an admis- 
sion to the Emperor's chapel, etc., and to say that, on production 
of my sauf conduit our party would find a free admission to the 
theatres and other spectacles of Paris. So much politeness (so 
very different from what would have been the case in England) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



91 



both gratified and surprised me. I wrote a letter of thanks ; 
but, at our privy council, we agreed that, under existing circum- 
stances, it would be better to say nothing of the latter favour. 
I afterwards discovered the friendly quarter through which it 
originated. 

We hired a caleche by the month, and set out with a determi- 
nation to lose no time in seeing whatever was interesting ; and 
in fact everything was at that moment interesting to strangers. 
We spoke French sufficiently well for ordinary purposes ; and 
determined, in short, to make ourselves as comfortable as 
possible. 

I have already observed that I kept a diary during the 
Hundred Days, but afterwards thought it most prudent not to 
commit anything very important to writing. From that diary, 
so far as I pursued it (and from scraps which nobody could 
understand but myself), I have since selected such details and 
observations as have not hitherto been published or made, and 
for the collection of which my peculiar situation at Paris, and 
consequent opportunities, abundantly qualified me. Consistently 
with the foregoing part of these fragments, I shall not even 
attempt anything like strict order or chronological arrangement, 
but leave, generally speaking, the various subjects brought be- 
fore the reader's attention to illustrate and explain each other. 
On this principle I shall now, without further prelude, describe 
the first scene which impressed itself on my imagination. 

The first Sunday after the receipt of our permission we 
repaired to the Emperor's chapel, to see that wonderful man and 
to hear mass chanted in the first style of church music. Napo- 
leon had already entered. The chapel was full, but we got seats 
very low down, near the gallery in which the Emperor sat ; and, 
a;s he frequently leaned over the front, I had opportunities of 
partially seeing him. In the presence of so celebrated a man as 
Bonaparte, all other things sank into comparative insignificance, 
and the attention of the spectator was wholly absorbed by the 
one great object. Thus, in the present case, there was nothing 
either in the chapel or congregation that had power to divide 



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my regards with the great Napoleon. As I have said, he often 
leaned over the front of the gallery wherein he sat, and I had 
thence an opportunity of observing that he seemed quite rest- 
less, took snuff repeatedly, stroked down his head with an 
abstracted air ; and, in fact, was obviously possessed by feelings 
of deep anxiety. I should not suppose he had at the moment 
the least consciousness as to where he was, and that, of all 
things, the priests and the mass were the last likely to occupy 
his thoughts. 

Whilst thus employed in reconnoitring the Emperor as 
intensely as stolen glances afforded me means of doing, a buzz 
in the chapel caused me to turn round to ascertain its cause. 
Though low, it increased every moment, and was palpably 
directed towards us ; so much so that no doubt remained of our 
being somehow or other the sole objects of it. I then whis- 
pered my companions that our presence was evidently offensive 
in that place, and that we had better retire, when a French- 
woman, who sat near Lady Barrington, said, " Madame, you per- 
ceive that you are the objects of this un courteous notice." — 
" Yes," replied Lady Barrington ; " it is become quite obvious." 
The French lady smiled, and continued, " You had better lay 
aside your shawls /" Lady Barrington and my daughter accord- 
ingly, taking the hint, threw off the shawls, which they suffered 
to drop at their feet ; and at once the buzzing subsided, and 
no further explanation took place until the conclusion of the 
service. 

At that moment several French ladies came up with great 
courtesy, to apologise for the apparent rudeness of the congrega- 
tion, which they begged Lady Barrington to excuse on account 
of its cause, and to examine her shawl, on doing which she 
would perceive that it was very unlucky (Men mal a projpos) to 
wear such a one in the presence of the Emperor. She did so, 
and found that both hers and my daughter's (though very fine 
ones) were unfortunately speckled all over with fleurs-de-lis ! 
They had been sold her the preceding day by a knavish shop- 
keeper at the Passage Feydeau, who, seeing she was a foreigner, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



93 



had put off these articles, thinking it a good opportunity to 
decrease his stock in that kind of gear, the sale whereof would 
probably be pronounced high treason before the month was 
over. 

The confusion of the ladies at this edaircissement may be 
well conceived ; but it was speedily alleviated by the elegant 
consolations and extreme politeness of the French women. 
Amongst those who addressed us was a gentleman in the uni- 
form of a colonel of the National Guards ; he spoke to me in 
perfect English, and begged to introduce his family to mine. I 
told him who I was, and he asked us to dinner and ball next 
day at his house in the Eue de Clichy. We accepted his invita- 
tion, and were magnificently entertained. This was Colonel 
Gowen, the proprietor of the first stamp-paper manufactory in 
France — a most excellent, hospitable, and friendly person, but 
ill-requited, I fear, afterwards, by some of our countrymen. I 
subsequently experienced many proofs of his hospitality and 
attention. 

An English lady was also remarkably attentive and polite on 
this occasion, and gave her card to Lady Barrington, No. 10 Kue 
Pigale. She was the lady of Dr. Marshall, an English physi- 
cian ; so that the affair of the shawl, so far from being mat d 
propos, turned out quite a lucky adventure. 

In viewing Napoleon that day, it was not the splendid 
superiority of his rank ; it was neither his diadem, sceptre, nor 
power, which communicated that involuntary sensation of awe it 
was impossible not to feel ; — it was the gigantic degree of talent 
whereby a man of obscure origin had been raised so far above 
his fellows. The spectator could not but deeply reflect on the 
mystic nature of those decrees of Providence which had placed 
Napoleon Bonaparte on one of the highest of earthly thrones and 
at the very pinnacle of glory ; had hurled him from that emi- 
nence and driven him into exile ; and now seemed again to have 
warranted his second elevation, replacing him upon that throne 
even more wondrously than when he first ascended it. 

Such were my impressions on my first sight of the Emperor 



94 



barrington's personal sketches 



Napoleon. So much has he been seen and scrutinised through- 
out the world, — so familiar must his countenance have been to 
millions, — so many descriptions have been given of his person 
and of his features by those who knew him well, — that any por- 
trait by me must appear to be at least superfluous. Every person, 
however, has a right to form his own independent judgment on 
subjects of physiognomy, and it is singular enough that I have 
never yet met any one with whom I entirely coincided as to the 
peculiar expression of Napoleon's features ; — and I have some 
right to speak, for I saw him at periods and under circumstances 
that wrought on and agitated every muscle of his fine counte- 
nance, and have fancied (perhaps ridiculously) that I could trace 
indications of character therein unnoticed by his biographers. 

On this day, my observations must necessarily have been 
very superficial ; yet I thought I could perceive, in the move- 
ment of a single feature, some strong-excited feeling, some sensa- 
tion detached and wandering away from the ordinary modes of 
thinking, though I could not even guess from what passion or 
through what impulse that sensation originated. After I had 
seen him often, I collated the emotions palpable in his counte- 
nance with the vicissitudes of his past life, fancying that I might 
thence acquire some data to go upon in estimating the tone of 
his thoughts ; but at this first sight, so diversified were the ap- 
pearances as he leaned over the gallery, that even Lavater could 
not have deciphered his sensations. He was uneasy, making 
almost convulsive motions, and I perceived occasionally a quiver 
on his lip : on the whole, my anxiety was raised a hundred-fold 
to be placed in some situation where I might translate at leisure 
the workings of his expressive countenance. That opportunity 
was after a short interval fully given me. 

On the same day I had indeed a second occasion of observing 
the Emperor, and in a much more interesting occupation — more 
to his taste, and which obviously changed the entire cast of his 
looks — quite divesting him of that deep, penetrating, gloomy 
character, which had saddened his countenance during the time 
he was at chapel. After mass he first came out upon the balcony 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



95 



in front of the Tuilleries : his personal staff, marshals, generals, 
and a few ladies, surrounded him ; whilst the civil officers of the 
court stood in small groups aside, as if wishing to having nothing 
to do with the military spectacle. Napoleon was now about to 
inspect eight or ten thousand of the army, in the Place Carousel. 
The transition from an array of priests to a parade of warriors — 
from the hymns of the saints to the shouting of the soldiery — from 
the heavy, although solemn, music of the organ to the inspiriting 
notes of the drum — added greatly to the effect of the scene, which 
strongly impressed my mind, alive and open to all these novel 
incidents. Age had not then, nor has it yet, effaced the suscep- 
tibility of my nature. I own, the latter scene was on that day 
to my mind vastly preferable to the first : the countenance of 
Xapoleon was metamorphosed ; it became illuminated ; he de- 
scended from the balcony, and mounted a grey barb. He was 
now obviously in his element ; the troops, as I have said, 
amounted to about ten thousand ; I did not conceive the court of 
the Tuilleries could hold so many. 

Napoleon was now fully exposed to our view. His face 
acknowledged the effect of the climate : his forehead, though 
high and thinly strewn with hair, did not convey to me any par- 
ticular trait ; his eyebrows, when at rest, were not expressive, 
neither did his eyes on that occasion speak much : but the lower 
part of his face fixed my attention at once. It was about his 
mouth and chin that his character seemed to be concentrated. 
I thought, on the whole, that I could perceive a mixture of 
steadiness and caprice, of passion and generosity, of control and 
impetuousness. 

But my attention was soon turned aside to the inspection 
itself. There was not a soldier who did not appear nearly frantic 
with exultation, and whose very heart, I believe, did not beat in 
unison with the hurrahs wherewith they received their favourite 
leader. 

It was the first time I had ever heard a crowd express its 
boisterous pleasure in a tone of sensibility unknown in our 
country. The troops were in earnest, and so was the general. 



96 



baerington's personal sketches 



The Old Guard (including such as had returned from Elba and 
such as had rejoined their colours) formed a body of men superior 
to any I had ever before witnessed. Descriptions of Napoleon 
amidst his soldiers are however so common, that I will not oc- 
cupy either the reader's time or my own by enlarging further on 
the subject. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



97 



THE ENGLISH IN PAEIS. 

Shortly after this period I became particularly intimate with 
Dr. Marshall, a circumstance which, in the paucity of English 
who had remained in Paris, was productive to me of great satis- 
faction. He was a man of prepossessing appearance and address ; 
had travelled much ; had acted, he informed me, as physician to 
the army in Egypt, etc., and had gone on some confidential 
mission to Murat whilst King of Naples. His wife was a pretty 
woman, rather en bon point, about thirty, and with the complete 
appearance and address of a gentlewoman The Doctor kept a 
very handsome establishment, and entertained small companies 
splendidly. 

The society I generally met there consisted, in the first place, 
of Colonel Macirone, who passed for an Italian, and had been 
aide-de-camp to Murat, but was, I believe, in fact the son of a 
respectable manufacturer in London, or on Blackheath. He has 
published an account of the romantic circumstances attendant 
on the death of the ill-fated Murat. Another member of the 
society was Count Julien, formerly, I believe, some secretary or 
civil officer of Murat, a huge boisterous overbearing fat man, 
consequential without being dignified, dressy without being neat, 
and with a showy politeness that wanted even the elements of 
civility. Count Julien was the only person I met at Dr. Mar- 
shall's whose character or occupation I had any suspicions about. 

Fouche was then the Emperor's Minister of Police, and they 
all appeared to be more or less acquainted with him ; but I had 
not at first the slightest idea that they were every one of them 
either spies or employes of the police minister, and but hollow 
friends, if not absolute traitors, to Napoleon. 

I met several other gentlemen less remarkable at Doctor 

VOL. II. H 



98 



barrington's personal sketches 



Marshall's, but only one lady appeared besides the mistress of 
the house. This was a plain, rational, sedate woman under 
forty. She was introduced to us by Mrs. Marshall as the wife 
of a relative of Fouohi, and at that time (with her husband) on 
a visit to his Excellency at his hotel, Eue Cerutti. 

One day before dinner, at Dr. Marshall's house, I observed 
this lady, on our arrival, hurrying into Mrs. Marshall's boudoir, 
and when dinner was announced she re-entered decked out with 
a set of remarkable coral ornaments, which I had seen Mrs. 
Marshall wear several times. This circumstance struck me at 
the moment, but was neither recollected nor accounted for till 
we paid an unlucky visit to that Ci relative of Fouche," when the 
whole enigma became developed, and my suspicions fairly aroused. 

Dr. Marshall meanwhile continued to gain much on my 
esteem. He saw that I was greedy of information as to the 
affairs of Italy ; and he, as well as Colonel Macirone, saturated 
me in consequence with anecdotes of the Court of Naples, and 
of Murat himself, highly entertaining, and I believe tolerably 
true — for I do really think that Macirone was sincerely attached 
to that king, and attended his person with friendship and sin- 
cerity. On the contrary, Count Julien seemed incapable of 
possessing much feeling, and perfectly indifferent as to any 
body's fate but his own. This, however, I only give as my in- 
dividual opinion : I soon lost sight of the man altogether. 

In the midst of this agreeable and respectable society, I passed 
my time during the greater part of the Hundred Days : and Dr. 
Marshall informing me, I believe truly, that he was on terms 
of confidence (though not immediately) with Fouche^ and well 
knowing that he might with perfect security communicate any- 
thing to me (seeing that I should be silent for my own sake), 
scarcely a day passed but we had much conversation in his 
garden ; and he certainly did give me very correct information 
as to the state of affairs and the condition of the Emperor, to- 
gether with much that was not equally correct regarding him- 
self. This I occasionally and partially perceived ; but his address 
was imposing and particularly agreeable. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



99 



AVe bad also cultivated our acquaintance (originated through 
the adventure of the shawls) with Colonel Gowen of the National 
Guards, whose hotel in Rue Clichy bore a most extraordinary 
castellated appearance, and was surrounded by very large gardens, 
where we were nobly entertained : tbe leads of tbe botel over- 
looked Tivoli, and indeed every place about Taris. Tbe colonel 
lived extremely well ; spoke English perfectly ; and might, in fact, 
be mistaken for a hospitable officer of a British yeomanry corps. 

Another gentleman I also happened accidentally to meet, 
who was an English subject, and whom I bad known many 
years previously. We became intimate, and I derived both 
utility and information from that intimacy. This gentleman 
knew, and had long known, much more of French affairs and 
individuals than any of my other acquaintances ; and being 
at the same time replete with good nature and good sense (with 
his politics I had nothing to do), I could not fail to be a gainer 
by our intercourse, which has continued undiminished to this 
Jay. 

Another and more remarkable personage, Mr. Arthur O'Con- 
nor, was then a French general unemployed. I had known him 
thirty years before ; he had married the daughter and sole 
heiress of the unfortunate and learned Marquess de Condorcet ; 
had been plundered of his Irish property by his brother Roger ; 
and was prohibited from returning to his native country by 
act of parliament. General Arthur O'Connor was a remarkably 
strong-minded, clever man, with a fine face and a manly air : 
he had, besides, a great deal of Irish national character, to some 
of the failings whereof he united several of its best qualities. 
I met him frequently, and relished his. company highly. For 
old acquaintance sake I professed and felt a friendship for the 
man ; and, differing as we did wholly upon public subjects, we 
talked over all without arguing upon any, which is the only agree- 
able method of conversation amongst persons whose opinions do 
not coincide. 

Lord and Lady Kinnaird were also in Taris at that period. 
I did not pay my respects to them for a very singular, though at 



100 



B ARLINGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



such a time a very sufficient reason. Her Ladyship was the 
daughter of one of my most respected friends, the late Duke of 
Leinster, to every member of whose family I owe all possible 
attention : but Lord Kinnaird, by over-acting his part, had 
drawn on himself an absurd degree of suspicion ; and I had been 
informed by a friend, in confidence, that every person who was 
seen visiting him was immediately suspected likewise, and put 
secretly under surveillance, which would not have been particu- 
larly agreeable to me. In a little time this information was 
curiously illustrated. I was informed that . Lord Kinnaird had 
been arrested by order of Eouche ; but Pouche" soon found he 
had fallen into a very ridiculous error ; and I believe his Lord- 
ship was immediately liberated with an ample apology. I heard 
also incidentally amongst the employes (for I took care at all 
times to display no inordinate curiosity even though I might be 
literally bursting with that feeling), that his Lordship was ac- 
customed to express himself so hyperbolically in favour of Napo- 
leon, that the police (to whom everything was made known by 
unsuspected domestics) could not give his Lordship credit for 
sincerity, and therefore took for granted that he was playing 
some game or other : in fact, they fancied he was a spy ! — using 
ultra eulogiums on the Emperor to cloke a secret design. 

Messrs. Hobhouse and Bruce were both in Paris at the same 
period, and I have often regretted that I did not know them. I 
afterwards knew the latter well, when in La Force with Sir E. 
Wilson and my friend Mr. J. Hutchinson, for assisting the 
escape of Lavalette. I found in Mr. Bruce some excellent quali- 
ties, and a thirst after information which I admire in anybody. 

These, together with, the family of Mr. Talbot, were the only 
English persons whom I met in Paris immediately after my ar- 
rival and during the most momentous crisis Europe ever wit- 
nessed. That point of time formed the pivot whereon the future 
destiny of every nation in the fairest quarter of the globe was 
vibrating : but I am here trenching on a subject in which the 
nature of this work does not permit me to indulge. 

The successive occurrences at Paris, after Napoleon's return, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



101 



were daily published, and are known to everybody. The press 
was free from restraint, and every public act recorded : it was 
therefore to the private acts and characters of men I applied my 
observation, as forming the best ground for speculative opinions 
(which that portentous interval necessarily tended to stimulate), 
and likewise as calculated to yield the best materials for future 
entertainment. 

Dr. Marshall was, as I have already stated, on some occasions 
confidentially employed by Fouche ; and placing confidence in 
me — perhaps not duly estimating the extent of my curiosity — 
he was very communicative. In fact, not a day passed, particu- 
larly after Napoleon's return from Waterloo, that I did not make 
some discovery through the Doctor (as much from his air of 
mystery as from his direct admissions) of Fouche's flagitious 
character, and of the ductility and total absence of principle 
exhibited by several of his employes. 

The intelligence I daily acquired did not surprise, but greatly 
disgusted me. I hate treachery in all its ramifications : it is 
not, generally speaking, a French characteristic ; but Fouche 
certainly displayed a complete personification of that vice. 
Spies and traitors generally do each other strict justice, by the 
operation and exercise of mutual hatred, contempt, and invective. 
I never heard one such person say a kind word of another behind 
hU back ; and when a man is necessitated by policy to puff a 
brother villain, it is not difficult for a stander-by to decipher the 
sneer of jealousy and mental reservation distorting the muscles 
of the speaker's countenance, and involuntarily disclosing the 
very feeling which he was perhaps desirous to conceal. 

Thus was it with the various tools of the treacherous minister ; 
and in his own countenance were engraven distinctly the cha- 
racteristics of cunning and insincerity. From the first moment 
I saw Fouche, and more particularly when I heard him falsely 
swear fidelity to his imperial master, I involuntarily imbibed a 
strong sensation of dislike. His features held out no inducement 
to you to place confidence in their owner ; on the contrary, they 
could not but tend to beget distrust and disesteem. The sus- 



102 



jbahrington's peesonal sketches 



picions which they generated in me I never could overcome, 
and the sequel proved how just they were. 

After a while, I began slightly to suspect the species of society 
I was associating with, and it occurred to me to request that 
Lady Barrington would pay a visit to the lady we had met at 
Dr. Marshall's, and whom we had understood from Mrs. Marshall 
to be on a visit to Fouche, her relative. I proposed to go also, 
and leave my card for her husband, whom we had not yet seen. 
We accordingly waited on them at Fouche's hotel, and asked the 
Swiss if Madame was at home. 

"Madame !" said the porter; "Madame! quelle Madame?" 
as if he had heard us imperfectly. We had forgotten her name, 
and could therefore only reply, " Madame la parents de Monsieur 
le Ministre." 

" There is no such person here, Monsieur," replied the Swiss, 
with a half-saucy shrug. 

" Oh yes," exclaimed I : " she is on a visit to the Due 
d'Otrante." 

" Non, non, Monsieur et Madame" repeated the pertinacious 
Swiss : "point de tout !" and he seemed impatient to send us 
away ; but after a moment's pause, the fellow burst out into a 
violent fit of laughter. "I beg your pardon, Monsieur et 
Madame," said he; "I begin to understand whom you mean. 
Your friend undoubtedly resides in the hotel, but she is just 
now from home." 

I handed him our cards for her and her husband. On read- 
ing 11 Le Chevalier et Milady" the man looked more respectful, 
but apparently could not control his laughter. When, however, 
he at length recovered himself, he bowed very low, begged par- 
don again, and said he thought we had been inquiring for some 
vraie Madame. The word stimulated my curiosity, and I hastily 
demanded its meaning ; when it turned out that Monsieur was 
the maitre d'hotel, and Madame, his wife, looked to the linen, 
china, etc., in quality of confidential housekeeper ! 

We waited to hear no more. I took up our cards and away 
we went ; and my suspicions as to that lady's rank were thus 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



103 



set at rest. I did not say one word of the matter at Dr. Mar- 
shall's, but I suppose the porter told the lady, as we never saw 
her afterward, nor her husband at all. 

I now began to perceive my way more clearly, and redoubled 
my assiduity to decipher the events which passed around me. 
In this I was aided by an increased intimacy with Colonel 
Macirone, whom closer acquaintance confirmed as an agreeable 
and gentlemanly man, and who in my opinion was very badly 
selected as an espion : I believe his heart was above his degrad- 
ing occupation. 

I perceived that there was some plot going forward, the 
circumstances of which it was beyond my power to develop. 
The manner of the persons I lived amongst was perpetually 
undergoing some shade "of variation ; the mystery thickened ; 
and my curiosity increased with it. 

In the end this curiosity was most completely gratified ; but 
all I could determine on at the moment was, that there existed 
an extensive organised system of deception and treachery, at the 
bottom of which was undoubtedly Fouche himself: whether, 
however, my employ^ acquaintances would ultimately betray the 
Emperor or his minister, seemed, from their evidently loose 
political principles, quite problematical. I meanwhile dreaded 
everybody, yet affected to fear none, and listened with an air of 
unconcern to the stories of my valet, Henry Thevenot, though 
at that time I gave them no credit : subsequent occurrences, 
however, rendered it manifest that this man procured, somehow 
or other, sure information. 

Amongst other matters, Thevenot said he knew well that 
there was an intention, if opportunity occurred, of assassinating 
Napoleon on his road to join the army in Belgium." I did not 
much relish being made the depository of such dangerous secrets, 
and ordered my servant never to mention before me again " any 

* I have often thought that the ultimate desertion of the Mameluke who had 
always been retained by Napoleon about his person had some very deep reason 
for it ; and to this moment, that circumstance appears to require clearing up. — 
(' Author 's note. ) 



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barrington's personal sketches 



such ridiculous stories," otherwise I should discharge him as an 
unsafe person. Yet I could not keep his tongue from wagging, 
and I really dreaded dismissing him. He said "that Fouche 
was a traitor to his master ; that several of the cannon at Mont- 
martre were rendered unserviceable ; and that mines had been 
charged with gunpowder under various parts of the city, pre- 
paratory to some attempt at counter-revolution." 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



105 



INAUGURATION OF THE EMPEROR 

The days rolled on, and in their train brought summer and the 
month of June, on the 8th day of which the peers and deputies 
of the legislative body were summoned to attend collectively at 
two o'clock, in the Chamber of Deputies, to receive the Emperor, 
and take the oath of fidelity to him and to the constitution, in 
the midst of all the splendour which the brilliant metropolis of 
France could supply. The abduction of the regalia by some 
friends of King Louis, when they ran away to Ghent, had left 
Napoleon without any crown wherewith to gratify the vanity of 
a people at all times devoted to every species of spectacle ; he 
had only a button and loop of brilliants which fastened up his 
Spanish hat, over the sides whereof an immense plumage hung 
nodding. But this was such a scene, and such an occasion, that 
a wreath of laurel would have become the brow of Napoleon far 
better than all the diamonds in the universe! The whole of the 
imperial family were to be present. 

The number of persons who could be admitted as spectators 
into the gallery was necessarily very limited ; and in a great 
metropolis where everybody is devoted to show, the difficulty of 
procuring admission would, I conceived, be of course propor- 
tionably great. It may be well imagined that I was inde- 
fatigable in seeking to obtain tickets, as this spectacle was 
calculated to throw everything besides that I had witnessed in 
Paris completely into the background ; and what tended still 
more to whet the edge of my curiosity, was the reflection that 
it would, in all probability, be the last opportunity I should 
have of deliberately viewing the Emperor, whose departure from 
Paris to join the army was immediately contemplated. 

I therefore made interest with everybody I knew. I even 



106 



barrington's personal sketches 



wrote to the authorities ; and, in short, left no means whatever 
untried which suggested themselves to me. At length, when I 
began to think my chance but a very poor one, on the day 
actually preceding the ceremony, to my unspeakable gratifica- 
tion I received a note from the Chamberlain, enclosing an 
admission for one, which the difficulty I had everywhere 
encountered led me to esteem a great favour. I did not think 
that at my age I could possibly be so anxious about anything ; 
but I believe there are few persons who will not admit that the 
excitement was great, occasioned by the prospect of contem- 
plating for a length of time, and in a convenient situation, the 
bodily presence of a man to whom posterity is likely to award 
greater honours than can be conceded to him by the prejudices 
of the present race. 

The programme announced that all Napoleon's marshals and 
generals, together with the veterans of his staff and the male 
branches of his family, were to be grouped around him, as were 
likewise several of those statesmen whose talents had helped 
originally to raise him to the throne, and whose treachery after- 
wards succeeded in hurling him a second time from it. The 
peers and deputies, in their several ranks and costumes, were 
each, individually and distinctly, on that day to swear new 
allegiance to their Emperor, and a lasting obedience to the 
constitution. 

The solemnity of Napoleon's inauguration, and that of his 
promulgating the new constitution at the Champ de Mars, made 
by far the greatest impression on my mind of all the remarkable 
public or private occurrences I had ever witnessed. The intense 
interest, the incalculable importance, not only to France, but to 
the world, of those two great events, generated reflections within 
me more weighty and profound than any I had hitherto enter- 
tained ; whilst the variety of glittering dresses, the novelty and 
the ever-changing nature of the objects around me, combined to 
cheat me almost into a belief that I had migrated to fairy-land, 
and in fact to prevent me from fixing my regards on anything. 

The first of those days was the more interesting to France — 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



107 



the second to Europe at large. Though totally unparalleled in 
all their bearings, and dissimilar from every other historical 
incident, ancient or modern, yet these solemnities seem to have 
been considered by most who have written upon the subject as 
little more than ordinary transactions. Were I to give my 
feelings full play in reciting their effect on myself, I should 
at this calmer moment be perhaps set down as a visionary 
or enthusiast. I shall, therefore, confine myself to simple 
narrative. 

The procession of the Emperor from the Tuilleries to the 
Chambers, though short, was to have been of the most imposing 
character. But, much as I wished to see it, I found that by 
such an attempt I might lose my place in the gallery of the 
Chamber, and consequently the view of the inauguration scene. 
At eleven o'clock, therefore, I brought my family to a house on the 
Quay, for which I had previously paid dearly, and where having 
placed them at a window, I repaired myself to the Chamber of 
Deputies, in company of a French colonel, who had been intro- 
duced to us by Colonel Gowen, and who kindly undertook to be 
my usher, and to point out to me the most celebrated warriors 
and generals of the guard and army, who in groups promenaded 
the courts and gardens of the Senate-house, awaiting the 
appointed hour for parading to receive the Emperor. This 
gentleman, in fact, introduced me to several officers and persons 
of rank ; and though, at that moment, war, attended by all its 
horrors, was deemed inevitable, I was addressed with a courtesy 
and gentlemanly frankness, which, under similar circumstances, 
would in any other country, 1 fear, have been wanting. They 
spoke without reserve of the tremendous struggle about to be 
commenced ; but not a man of them appeared to me to have a 
single doubt of triumphing ; and had my own country been 
neutral or uninterested, I certainly should have preferred the 
brilliance of Xapoleon's despotism to the contracted, glimmering 
tyranny of his continental enemies. But I knew that Great 
Britain was implicated. Xapoleon and England might coalesce 
for a moment ; but I felt that the ascendency of the former was 



108 



barrington's personal sketches 



incompatible with the power of the latter, and I was chilled by 
the reflection, which in some degree abated my relish for the 
striking scene before me. 

Amongst other individuals of note presented to me by the 
colonel, was Labedoyere, who was destined so soon to atone with 
the forfeiture of his life for his fidelity to his first patron. I had 
heard then nothing particular of this man, and consequently 
took but little notice of him. There was not one whom I 
remarked more than Ney, then prince of Moskwa. " That," 
said the colonel, as he pointed him out to me, " is the greatest 
sahreur in Europe and Key's rough, manly, sun-burnt coun- 
tenance, well set off by his muscular, warlike figure, confirmed 
the character. " There," continued my informant, pointing to a 
civilian in full dress, " is one of the truest partisans the Emperor 
has in France — Count Thibaudeau." I had previously remarked 
the person to whom my attention was thus directed, as one not 
formed of common materials, and had occasion soon after to 
observe him still more particularly. 

So many of the objects of that day have been sketched in 
various publications, that I shall not endeavour to give anything 
in the shape of a list of them, but content myself with the men- 
tion of those which struck me most forcibly at the moment. 

Whoever was in Paris during the Hundred Days, must have 
seen the Old Guard of Napoleon. Such a body of soldiers (all 
appearing of the self-same character) I believe never was col- 
lected. Their Herculean vigour, more than the height of their 
persons, was remarkable ; and their dark, deep-furrowed visages 
(enveloped in moustaches and surmounted by the bear's skin of 
their lofty caps, glittering with ornaments), combined, together 
with their arms, their clothes, and more particularly their steadi- 
ness, to exhibit to me the most complete model of genuine sol- 
diers. Their looks, though the very emblem of gravity and 
determination, were totally devoid of ferocity ; and I could fancy 
the grenadiers of the Old Guard to be heroes uniting the quali- 
ties of fidelity, of valour, and of generosity. Their whole appear- 
ance, indeed, was most attractive. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



109 



The cavalry had dismounted, and were sitting around on the 
steps and parapets of the edifice, mostly employed in sharpening 
their sabres with small hones ; and the whole seemed to me as 
if actuated only by an ardent wish to proceed to action. One 
officer asked me in English, rather more freely than the rest, if I 
knew the British commander (Lord Wellington.) I said |I did. 
— " Well," replied he, " we shall have a brush with him before 
the week is over !" and turned away with an expression strongly 
indicative of contempt. I believe Lord Wellington did not quite 
anticipate the short time that would be given him by his oppo- 
nents. My observations and introductions were, however, at 
length interrupted by the first cannon, which announced that the 
Emperor had commenced his passage from the Tuilleries. All 
was in immediate bustle ; the drums beat, the trumpets sounded, 
the deputies and officials flocked into their halls, the cuirassiers 
were mounted, the grenadiers in line, the officers at their stations ; 
and in five minutes the mingled and motley crowd was arranged 
in order so regular and so silently assumed, that it w r as almost 
impossible to suppose they had ever been in confusion. The 
different bands struck up ; they had received orders respecting 
the airs that should be played as the Emperor approached, which 
they began to practise ; and the whole scene, almost in a 
moment, wore an aspect entirely new. 

The firing of cannon continued ; — the Emperor had advanced 
along the quays, and passed over that very spot where the last 
French monarch had, twenty years before, been immolated by 
his subjects. The word enthusiasm, strong as its meaning is 
generally held to be, really failed, on this occasion, to express as 
much as the military seemed to feel. The citizens who thronged 
around did not, however, it is true, appear to partake in this 
sentiment to anything like a corresponding extent. Whether it 
was that they felt it or not, or that they were conscious of acting 
a subordinate part in the pageant (which unquestionably bore 
too much of a military character), I do not know. 

I proceeded without delay to the stairs which led to my loge, 
as noted on my admission-ticket. This loge, however, it turned 



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barrington's personal sketches 



out to be no easy matter to find. My heart began to sink ; I 
inquired of everybody. Some did not understand, others looked 
contemptuously ; nobody would pay the least attention to my 
solicitations. Thus I seemed likely, after all, to lose the benefit 
of my exertions. Meanwhile, every new discharge of cannon 
seemed as if announcing, not only the Emperor's approach, but 
my seclusion from the chamber * and I was getting fast into a 
state of angry hopelessness, when an officer of the guard, who saw 
that I was a foreigner, addressed me in English. I explained to 
him my embarrassments and fears, and showed him my ticket. 
He told me I was on the wrong side, and was so good as to send 
a soldier with me to the door of the box. I rapped, and was 
instantly admitted. There were two rows of chairs, and accommo- 
dation for three persons to stand behind. I was one of the latter ; 
and it was impossible to be better situated for hearing and seeing 
everything. My loge exactly faced the throne ; and in the next 
sat the Emperor's mother, and all the females, with their attend- 
ants. I knew nobody. I saw no English there : there was one 
person in full dress, who was said to be un Chevalier Ucosse, and 
who, having distinguished himself and announced his nation by 
making an abominable disturbance about something or other, was 
very properly turned out. We sat in silent expectation of the 
Emperor's arrival, which was to be announced by the cessation 
of the repeated salutes of artillery. The moments were counted. 
The peers and deputies were seated in their places, all in full 
dress — the former occupying the front benches, and the deputies 
ranged behind them. Servants of the chamber, in the most 
splendid liveries that can be conceived, were seen busy at all the 
side doors. The front door was underneath our loge ; it was there- 
fore impossible for me to see the effect of the first appearance 
of the Emperor, who at length, followed by a numerous retinue, 
crossed the chamber — not majestically, but with rather hurried 
steps. Having slightly raised his hat, he seated himself abruptly 
on the throne, and wrapping himself in his purple cloak, sat silent. 

The scene was altogether most interesting ; but there was 
no time for contemplation. The whole assembly immediately 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



Ill 



rose ; and, if a judgment might be formed from the outward 
expression of their feelings, it would be inferred that Napoleon 
was enthroned in the heart of almost every peer and deputy who 
that day received him. A loud, continued, and unanimous burst 
of enthusiastic congratulation proceeded from every quarter. Tt 
echoed throughout the whole chamber, and had all the attributes 
of sincerity. One circumstance I particularly remarked, the old 
cry of " Vvoi V Km/pi rtwr? was discontinued ; and, as if the specta- 
tors' hearts were too full to utter more, they limited themselves 
to a single word : " TEmpcrcur ! VEmpcrcur /" alone bursting from 
the whole assembly. I found afterwards that there was a mean- 
ing in this, inasmuch as the ceremony was not a mere greeting ; 
it was an inauguration of the Emperor. It was this solemnity 
which, in fact, re-created his title after his formal abdication at 
Fontainebleau, and the assembly thus noted the distinction. 

Meanwhile, Xapoleon sat apparently unmoved. He occa- 
sionally touched his hat, but spake not, I stood immediately in 
front of and looking down on the throne ; and, being in the back 
row, could use my opera-glass without observation. Xapoleon 
was at that moment, all circumstances considered, the most inter- 
esting personage in existence. His dress, although rich, was 
scarcely royal. He was not, as a king should be by prescrip- 
tion, covered with jewels ; he had no crown, and wore the same 
dress exactly as he afterwards did on his visit to the Champ de 
Mars — namely, a black Spanish hat, fastened up in front with a 
diamond loop and button ; heavy plumes of ostrich feathers, 
which hung nodding over his forehead ; and rather a short cloak 
of purple velvet, embroidered with golden bees. The dimensions 
of his person were thus concealed ; but his stature, which scarcely 
attained the middle height, seemed still lower on account of his 
square-built form and his high and ungraceful shoulders. He 
was, in fact, by no means a majestic figure. I watched his eye, 
it was that of a hawk, and struck me as being peculiarly bril- 
liant. Without moving his head, or a single muscle of his coun- 
tenance, his eye was everywhere, and really seemed omniscient. 
An almost imperceptible transition moved it from place to place 



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as if by magic, and it was fixed steadily upon one object before 
a spectator could observe its withdrawal from another. 

Yet even at this moment, powerful as was the spell in which 
Napoleon's presence bound the spectator, my attention was 
drawn aside by another object, which seemed to me to afford 
much scope for contemplation ; this was the Emperor's mother. 
I stood, as I have already said, in the next loge of the gallery to 
that occupied by the imperial family. The dutiful and affec- 
tionate regard of Napoleon to his mother is universally authen- 
ticated ; and as his nature was not framed either to form or per- 
petuate mere attachments of course, it was natural to conclude 
that this lady's character had something about it worthy of re- 
mark. I was therefore curious to trace, as far as possible, the 
impressions made upon her by the passing scene. 

Madame Mere (as she was then called) was a very fine old 
lady, apparently about sixty, but looking strong and in good 
health. She was not, and I believe never had been, a beauty ; 
but was, nevertheless, well-looking, and possessed a cheerful, 
comfortable countenance. In short, I liked her appearance : it 
was plain and unassuming, and I set my mind to the task of 
scrutinising her probable sensations on that important day. 

Let us for a moment consider the situation of that mother, 
who, whilst in a humble sphere of life, and struggling with many 
difficulties, had borne, nursed, and reared a son, who, at an early 
age, and solely by his own superior talents, became ruler of one 
of the fairest portions of the civilised creation ; to whom kings and 
princes crouched and submitted, and transferred their territories 
and their subjects, at his will and pleasure ; to whom the whole 
world, except England, had cringed ; whom one great emperor 
had flattered and fawned on, handing over to him a favourite 
daughter even whilst the conqueror's true wife was still living ; 
and whom the same bewildered emperor had afterwards assisted 
in rousing all Europe to overthrow himself — thus dethroning his 
daughter, disinheriting his grandson, and exposing himself to the 
contempt and derision of the universe, — only that he might have 
the gratification of enslaving six millions of the Italian people ! 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



113 



The mother of Napoleon had seen all this ; and had, no doubt, felt 
bitterly that reverse of fortune whereby her son had been expelled 
and driven into exile, after his long dream of grandeur and almost 
resistless influence. What then must be the sensations of that 
mother at the scene we are describing ! when she beheld the same 
son again hailed Emperor of the French, restored to power and 
to his friends by the universal assent of a great nation and the firm 
attachment of victorious armies ! He remounted his throne 
before her eyes once more, and, without the shedding of one drop 
of blood, was again called to exercise those functions of royalty 
from which he had been a few months before excluded. 

It was under these impressions that I eagerly watched the 
countenance of that delighted lady ; but her features did not 
appear to me sufficiently marked to give full scope to the indica- 
tion of her feeling. I could judge, in fact, nothing from any 
other feature except her eye, to which, when I could catch it, I 
looked for information. At first I could see only her profile ; 
but as she frequently turned round, her emotions were from time 
to time obvious ; a tear occasionally moistened her cheek, but it 
evidently proceeded from a happy rather than a painful feeling — 
it was the tear of parental ecstasy. I could perceive no lofty 
sensations of gratified ambition ; no towering pride ; no vain and 
empty arrogance, as she viewed underneath her the peers and 
representatives of her son's dominions. Tn fact, T could perceive 
nothing in the deportment of Madame Mere that was not calcu- 
lated to excite respect for her as a woman, and admiration of her 
as the person who had brought into the world a man for many 
years the most successful of his species. 

From observation of this interesting lady I was called off by 
the scene which followed. After the Emperor had been a while 
seated (his brothers and the public functionaries around him, as 
expressed in a printed programme), the oath was administered 
to the peers and deputies individually, so that each was dis- 
tinctly marked by name ; and what I considered most fortunate 
was, that a French gentleman, who sat immediately before me 
(I believe some public officer), was assiduous in giving the two 

VOL. II. I 



114 



barrington's personal sketches 



adies who accompanied him, not only the name of each peer or 
deputy, as he took the oath, but also some description of him. 
I took advantage of this incident, and in a little tablet copied 
down the names of such as I had heard spoken of as remarkable 
persons, and particularly the generals and marshals. 

Their manner of administering and taking the oath was very 
different from ours.* The Trench had, from the period of the 
revolution, very justly conceived that an oath of any description 
would not be one atom more binding on the party if taken upon 
a book than if trust were reposed in their mere word of honour. 
On the present occasion, each person, as his name was called 
over, arose, and holding out his right arm to its extent (the palm 
of the hand uppermost), deliberately pronounced, " Je jure fidelity 
d VEmpereur et obedience d la Constitution." The reader will 
easily believe that it was a source of the utmost interest to watch 
the countenances of these dignitaries of France whilst they were 
engaged in performing this important ceremonial. My physio- 
gnomical observation was kept fully on the stretch, and was never 
before or since so sated with materials to work upon. The Em- 
peror, meanwhile, as I have already mentioned, sat almost im- 
movable. He did not appear exhilarated : indeed, on the other 
hand, I think he was indisposed. His breast heaved at times 

* One of the devices to prevent the accumulation of petty larceny, in the 
Court of Common Pleas of Ireland, was very amusing. Lord Norbury's registrar, 
Mr. Peter Jackson, complained grievously to his Lordship that he really could not 
afford to supply the court with Gospels or Prayer Books, as witnesses, after they 
had taken their oaths, were in the constant habit of stealing the book. " Peter," 
said Lord Norbury, " if the rascals read the book, it will do them more good than 
the petty larceny may do them mishief." — "Read or not read," urged Peter, 
"they are rogues, that's plain. I have tied the book fast, but nevertheless they 
have contrived to loosen and abstract it." — "Well, well ! " replied my Lord, " if 
they are not afraid of the cord, hang your Gospel in chains, and that perhaps, by 
reminding the fellows of the fate of their fathers and grandfathers, may make 
them behave themselves. " Peter Jackson took the hint : provided a good-looking, 
well-bound New Testament, which he secured with a strong jack-chain that had 
evidently done duty before the kitchen fire, and was made fast to the rail of the 
jury gallery. Thus, the holy volume had free scope to swing about and clink as 
much as it chose, to the great terror of witnesses, and good order of the jurors 
themselves.— (A uthor's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



115 



very perceptibly ; an involuntary convulsed motion agitated his 
lip ; but never did I see an eye more indefatigable and penetrat- 
ing ! As each man's name was called, and the oath administered, 
its regard was fixed upon the individual ; and nothing could be 
more curious to the spectator than to transfer his gaze alternately 
from the party taking the oath to the Emperor himself. Some 
of the peers and deputies Napoleon's eye passed over with 
scarcely a look ; whilst others he regarded as though disposed 
to penetrate their very souls, and search there for proofs of a 
sincerity he considered doubtful. Some seemed to excite a 
pleasurable, others a painful sensation within him ; though this 
was difficult to recognise, inasmuch as his features seldom, and 
never more than slightly, changed their entire expression. The 
countenances of the members themselves were 'more easily read, 
and afforded in many instances good clues, whereby, if not the 
real feelings, at least the tendency , of the parties might be de- 
ciphered. Some stood boldly up, and loudly, and without hesi- 
tation, took the oath; whilst others, in slow, tremulous voices, 
pledged themselves to what they either never meant, or wore 
not quite certain of their ability, to perform ; and a few dis- 
played manifest symptoms of repugnance in their manner: — but 
the scene was of that nature, so splendid — so generally interest- 
ing, that few persons, except those whose habits had long led them 
to the study of mankind, or such as might have some especial in- 
terest in the result, would have attended to these indications, 
which were of course not suffered in any instance to become 
prominent. 

One of the first persons who took the oath was Fouche, Duke 
of Otranto. I had been in this nobleman's office on my first 
arrival in Paris, and had marked his countenance. He had 
originally been a monk (I believe a Jesuit), and was on all hands 
admitted to be a man of the utmost talent, but at the same time 
wholly destitute of moral principle — a man who, in order to 
attain his ends, would disregard justice, and set opinion at 
insolent defiance. But, above all, Fouche's reigning character 
was duplicity : in that qualification of a statesman he had no 



116 



B ARLINGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



rival. Napoleon knew him thoroughly ; but, circumstanced as 
he was, he had occasion for such men. 

Yet even Fouche^ I really think, was, on this day, off his 
guard. He was at the time, there can be little doubt, in actual 
communication with some of Najjoleon's enemies ; and he cer- 
tainly appeared, whether or no from " compunctious visitings of 
conscience," to be ill at his ease. I kept my eye much on him * 
and it was quite obvious to me that some powerful train of feel- 
ing was working within his breast. On his name being called, 
there was nothing either bold, frank, or steady in his appearance 
or demeanour. He held out his hand not much higher than his 
hip, and, in a tone of voice languid, if not faltering, swore to a 
fidelity which he was determined, should he find it convenient, to 
renounce. I really think (and my eye and glass were full upon 
him) that Fouche, at the moment, felt his own treachery : a slight 
hectic flush passed over his temples, and his tongue seemed to 
cleave to his mouth. I cannot account for my impression 
further than this, but from that instant I set down the man as a 
traitor ! Napoleon for the first time turned his head as Fouche 
tendered his allegiance. I could perceive no marked expression 
in the Emperor's countenance, which remained placid and 
steady ; but I could not help thinking that even that com- 
placent regard (which certainly indicated no confidence, if it was 
free from agitation) seemed to say, " I know you ! " The cere- 
mony proceeded ; and after awhile the name was called of a 
person whom I had before seen — Count Thibaudeau. The con- 
trast between this gentleman and Fouche was very remarkable. 
He stood up quickly, and with great firmness stepped a little 
forward, and held his arm higher than his shoulder :— li Je jure? 
exclaimed Count Thibaudeau, a Je jure? repeating the words with 
emphasis, "fidelite a mon Empereur et obedience k la Constitu- 
tion !" I watched Napoleon's look : it was still serene, but a 
ray of gratification was not absent, and shot rapidly across his 
features. The business at length terminated. I treasured up in 
my mind the impressions made upon it that day, and in very few 
of my forebodings was I eventually mistaken. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



117 



The inauguration of the Emperor was now complete, and the 
reflection was extremely solemn, that all the powers of Europe 
were armed to overthrow the business of that morning. Neither 
peace nor truce was to be made with Xapoleon, who was, on his 
part, about to try the strength of France alone against a union 
of inveterate and inexorable foes. He was now about to inform 
his assembled legislators of this decision, and to make a declara- 
tion that should at once rouse the French people generally, and 
instil into the legislature a portion of his own energy. 

I was all expectation — the critical moment arrived — the 
occasion — the place — the subject, and more especially the effect 
expected to be produced — all combined in leading me to antici- 
pate some speech more impressive than any I had ever heard 

The Emperor rose from his throne rather quickly, raised his 
hat for a moment, and looked round him with a glance which, 
though probably meant to imply confidence, had to me the ex- 
pression of scrutiny. Ha\ "ing done this, he re-seated himself, and 
commenced his speech. In language it was well adapted to the 
French soldiery : as a proclamation it might be considered ad- 
mirable : but to a legislative assembly it seemed to me (perhaps 
erroneously) ill adapted. I did expect, at all events, that it 
would be pronounced with that energy which was indicative of 
the speaker's character ; but miserably was I disappointed ! 
Xapoleon read it distinctly, but, to my mind, utterly without 
effect : there was no ardour — no emphasis — no modulation of 
voice — no action, to enforce the sentiment. The delivery was 
monotonous and unimpressive ; nor can I yet conceive how it 
was possible such a man could pronounce such a speech without 
evincing that warmth of feeling which the words, as well as the 
great subject itself (to say nothing of his own situation^, were 
calculated to inspire. The French in general read extremely ill ; 
and Xapoleons style of elocution was a very humble specimen 
even of theirs. He ran the sentences into each other : in short, 
seemed to view the whole thing as a mere matter of course, and 
to be anxious to get through it. It put me more in mind of a 
solicitor reading a marriage-settlement than anything else. Here 



118 



bakrington's personal sketches 



and there, indeed, lie appeared somewhat touched by the text, 
and most probably he himself felt it all ; but he certainly ex- 
pressed nothing in a manner that could make others feel it. The 
concluding words of the speech — " This is the moment to con- 
quer or to perish " — though pronounced by Napoleon with little 
more energy than the preceding parts (much as if he had been 
saying "And your petitioner will ever pray"), made a strong 
and visible impression upon the entire auditory. Two or three of 
the deputies, I observed, by (to all appearance) an involuntary 
movement, put their hands on their sword-hilts, and whispered 
to those who sat next them ; and amongst the military officers 
who were in the assembly, there was evidently a very gallant 
feeling. I cast my eye at this moment on Fouche : he was 
looking upon the ground, seemingly in contemplation, and 
moved not a muscle. 

At the conclusion of his speech, Napoleon, whose vapid 
manner had considerably damped my previous excitement, im- 
mediately descended from the throne, and, in the same state and 
amidst redoubled applauses, returned to the. palace to make his 
last preparations to put into execution what I have since heard 
denominated by English generals the finest military manoeuvre 
of his whole life. Two things seem to be universally admitted : 
that the first object of that train of movements, namely the sur- 
prise and division of the allied troops — was completely success- 
ful ; and that its second object — the defeat of those troops in a 
general engagement — was so near its accomplishment, that its 
failure may almost be regarded as miraculous. 

I returned home full of reflection. I soon recounted all my 
impressions (particularly with respect to Fouche and Napoleon) 
to my family and two or three friends who dined with us. I 
did not hesitate to speak frankly my opinion of the game play- 
ing by the Duke of Otranto; nor did any long period elapse 
before my predictions were verified. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



119 



PEOMULGATION OF THE CONSTITUTION 

The promulgation of the new Articles of the Constitution by 
Napoleon, at the Champ de Mars, promised to elicit much of 
the public sentiment. For my own part, I conceived that it 
would be the true touchstone of Parisian political feeling ; but 
in that idea I was greatly disappointed. 

It was natural to suppose that the modification of a consti- 
tution, by a nearly despotic monarch, whereby his own power 
would be greatly contracted, would, even under Napoleon's cir- 
cumstances, be considered one of the measures best calculated to 
propitiate a long-trammeled population. But, in fact, the thing 
assumed no such character ; the spectacle seemed, indeed, of the 
utmost value to the Parisians ; but the constitution of little, if 
any. They had never possessed any regular constitution, and, I 
really think, had no settled or digested ideas upon the subject. 

The extraordinary splendour of the preparations for this 
ceremony, and the admixture of civil and military pomp, were 
to me very interesting. The temporary buildings thrown up for 
the occasion might, it is true, be denominated tawdry; yet, 
strangely enough, there is no other people except the French 
who can deck out such gewgaws with anything like correspond- 
ing taste and effect. 

The scene was on an immense scale. In an inconceivably 
short time, and almost as if by the effect of magic, a sort of 
amphitheatre was constructed in front of the Hotel des Inva- 
lides, and which was of magnitude sufficient to contain about 
15,000 persons. In the centre arose an altar similar to those 
provided, in ancient sacrifices, for the sacred fire to descend 
upon ; and at this altar Cardinal Cambaceres presided. A great 
proportion of the front of the hospital was covered with crimson. 



120 



barrington's personal sketches 



velvet, and the imperial throne was placed on the platform of 
the first storey, facing the altar ; around it were seats for the 
princes. I was not present at the actual ceremony within the 
great temporary edifice. 

I had, on the occasion of the inauguration (as already stated), 
fully satisfied myself as to the demeanour both of the Emperor 
and the senators ; but I had not seen the grand cortege which 
had preceded ; and on this occasion, as it was to be much more 
of a military procession, and the Emperor's last public appear- 
ance before he joined the army to decide the fate of Europe, I 
was desirous of witnessing the spectacle, and accordingly en- 
gaged a window on the quay for my family, in a house close to 
the Pont de Jena, over which the whole must pass on its way to 
the Hotel des Invalides. We had thence a close and full view 
of the Champ de Mars, of the Amphitheatre, and of the artificial 
mount whence the Constitution w^as to be proclaimed by the 
Emperor in person to the people. 

Napoleon well knew the great importance of leaving a strong 
impression on the public feeling. His posting from the coast 
to the Tuilleries without interruption was the most extraordinary 
event in history, ancient or modern ; but it was not immediately 
followed up by any unusual circumstance, or any very splendid 
spectacle to rouse or gratify Parisian volatility. The retired 
official life of the Emperor after his return, necessarily absorbed 
in business night and day, had altogether excited little or no 
stir, and still less expression of public feeling, in the metropolis ; 
in fact, the Parisians did not seem to feel so much interest 
about the state of affairs as they would have done upon the 
most unimportant occurrences : they made light of everything 
except their pleasure, which always was and always will be the 
god of Paris ; and never was any deity more universally and 
devoutly worshipped ! The King's flight to Ghent was then as 
little thought of or regarded as if he had gone to St. Cloud ; and 
Napoleon's arrival made as little stir as Louis's departure. But 
the Emperor was now about to go to battle ; was well aware of 
the treachery which surrounded him, and that on his success or 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



121 



discomfiture depended its explosion. He determined, therefore, 
as he had not time to counteract, to dissemble ; and I have no 
doubt that to this circumstance alone Fouche knew he owed his 
existence. The month preceding Napoleon's departure from 
Paris, he became thoroughly acquainted with the intrigues of 
his minister ; and I firmly believe that each was determined on 
the destruction of the other upon the first feasible opportunity, 
as the only means of securing himself. I do believe that Fouche 
would not have survived Bonaparte's successful return more 
than four-and-twenty hours, and I equally believe that Fouche 
had actually meditated, and made some progress in providing 
for, Napoleon's assassination. I made up my mind on these 
points, not from any direct information, but from a process 
yclept by our great-grandmothers spelling and putting together ; 
and if the reader will be good enough to bear in mind what I 
told him respecting the society at Dr. Marshall's, as well as the 
intelligence acquired by my servant Thevenot, he will not be at 
a loss to understand how I got at my materials. 

In truth, the army alone, I suspect, was sincerely attached 
to the reinstated monarch. By his soldiers Bonaparte was, in 
every part of his career, almost worshipped. They seemed to 
regard him rather as a demigod ; and nobody could be deceived 
as to their entire devotion to the divinity which they had set up. 
But it was not so with the civil ranks of Paris. 

I should tire myself and readers were I to describe the al- 
most boyish anxiety which I felt when the firing of the ordnance 
announced the first movement of the Emperor from the Tuille- 
ries to the Champ de Mars. I shall leave to the supposition of 
the reader the impression I received from the passing of the 
cortege. Let him picture to himself an immense army pouring 
along the spacious quays of Paris in battalions and squadrons : — ■ 
the enthusiasm of the soldiers, the bright cuirasses, the multi- 
tude of waving plumes, — the magnificence of the marshals and 
their staff : — these, set off by the glowing sun, combined to im- 
plant in the mind of a person unaccustomed to such a sight the 
idea of almost certain victory. 



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barrington's personal sketches 



What struck me most, was the appearance of a splendid, but 
not numerous regiment, in the costume of Turkish cavalry, 
mounted upon small barbs and dashingly accoutred : their 
officers rode, for the most part, piebald horses, many of which 
were caparisoned with breast armour, and decked with gaudy 
trappings. The uniform of the men was scarlet, with green Cos- 
sack trousers, immense turbans, and high plumes of feathers ; 
the whole ornamented and laced in as splendid and glittering a 
style as ingenuity could dictate : their stirrups were foot-boards, 
and they had very crooked sabres and long lances. I believe 
these men were accoutred en Mameluch, and I mention them the 
more particularly, because I believe they did not go to Waterloo 
— at least not in that uniform. In calling to my recollection 
this superb scene, the hundred bands of martial music seem even 
at this moment to strike my ear. It seemed as if every instru- 
ment in Paris was in requisition ! The trumpets and kettle- 
drums of the gaudy heralds ; the deep sackbuts ; the crashing 
cymbals ; and the loud gongs of the splendid Mamelukes, — 
bewildered both the ear and the imagination : at first they as- 
tonished, then gratified, and at length fatigued me. About the 
centre of this procession appeared its principal object — who, had 
he lived in times of less fermentation, would, in my opinion, have 
been a still greater statesman than he was a warrior. It is in- 
disputable that it was Bonaparte who definitively freed the entire 
continent of Europe from that democratic mania, of all other 
tyrannies the most cruel, savage, and unrelenting ; and which 
was still in full, though less rapid progress, when he, by placing 
the diadem of France on his own brow, restored the principle 
of monarchy to its vigour, and at one blow overwhelmed the 
many-headed monster of revolution. 

It has been the fashion, in England, to term Napoleon a 
" Corsican usurper." We should have recollected Paoli before 
we reproached him for being a Corsican, and we should have re- 
curred to our own annals before we called him a usurper. He 
mounted a throne which had long been vacant ; the decapitation 
of Louis, in which he could have had no concern, had completely 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



123 



overwhelmed the dynasty of Bourbon, and Napoleon in a day 
re-established that monarchical form of government which ice had, 
with so much expense of blood and treasure, been for many years 
unsuccessfully attempting to restore. I cannot avoid repeating 
this pointed example of our own inconsistency. We actually 
made peace and concluded treaties with Xapoleon Bonaparte 
when he was acting as a republican (the very species of govern- 
ment against which we had so long combated) ; and we refused 
to listen to his most pacific demonstrations when he became a 
monarch !* 

This has, I confess, been a sad digression : but when I call to 
mind that last scene of Bonaparte's splendour, I cannot altogether 
separate from it the prior portion of his history and that of Europe. 
I have mentioned that about the centre of the cortege the Em- 
peror and his court appeared. It was the custom in France for 
every person of a certain rank to keep a sort of state-coach 
gaudily gilded and painted, and, in addition to the footmen, a 
chasseur to mount behind dressed en grande toilette, with huge 
mustaches, immense feathers in his hat, and a large sabre depend- 
ing from a broad laced belt, which crossed his shoulder : he was 
generally a muscular, fine-looking man, and always indicated rank 
and affluence in his master. Napoleon liked this state to be pre- 
served by all his ministers, etc. lie obliged every man in office 
to appear at court and in public according to the station he held ; 
and instances were not wanting where the Emperor, having dis- 
covered that an officer of rank had not pecuniary means to pur- 
chase a coach of ceremony, had made him a present of a very fine 
one. He repeatedly paid the debts of several of his marshals 
and generals, when he thought their incomes somewhat inad- 
equate ; and a case has been mentioned, where a high officer of 
his household had not money to purchase jewels for his wife, of 

* Another observation I cannot but make on this subject. — As events have 
turned out, Napoleon only sat down on the throne of France to keep it for the 
Bourbons. Had he remained a republican, as when we acknowledged and made 
peace with him, the names of the whole family of Louis Capet would still have 
appeared on the pension-list of England. — (Author's note.) 



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Napoleon ordering a set to "be presented to her with an injunction 
to wear them at Court. 

On this day he commanded the twelve mayors of Paris to 
appear in their carriages of ceremony ; and, to do them justice, 
they were gilt and caparisoned as finely as time and circum- 
stances could admit. Bonaparte himself sat alone, in a state 
coach with glass all round it ; his feathers bowed deeply over 
his face, and consequently little more than the lower parts of 
it were quite uncovered. Whoever has marked the countenance 
of Napoleon must admit it to have been one of the most ex- 
pressive ever created. When I say this, I beg to be understood 
as distinguishing it entirely from what is generally called an 
expressive countenance — namely, one involuntarily and candidly 
proclaiming the feelings whereby its proprietor is actuated ; the 
smile or the look of scorn, the blush or the tear, serving not 
unfrequently to communicate matters which the lips would have 
kept secret. Though that species of expressive countenance may 
be commonly admired, it is often inconvenient, and would be 
perfectly unbefitting a king, a courtier, a gambler, an ambassador, 
or, in short, a man in any station of life which renders it in- 
cumbent on him to Jceep his countenance. The lower portion of 
Bonaparte's face (as I have mentioned in speaking of my first 
glance at it) was the finest I think I ever saw, and peculiarly 
calculated to set the feelings of others on speculation, without 
giving any decided intimation of his own. On the day of the 
promulgation, it occurred to me, and to my family likewise, as 
we saw him pass slowly under our window, that the unparalleled 
splendour of the scene failed in arousing him from that deep 
dejection which had apparently seized him ever since his return 
to Paris, and which doubtless arose from a consciousness of his 
critical situation, and the hollow ground whereon he trod. 
There was ill-timed languor in his general look ; he smiled not, 
and took but little notice of any surrounding object. He ap- 
peared in fact loaded with some presentiment, confined however 
to himself ; for of all possible events, his approaching and sudden 
fate was last, I believe, in the contemplation of any person 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



125 



amongst that prodigious assembly. I apprehend the intelligence 
of Murat's defeat in Italy had reached him about that time. 

Two marshals rode on each side of Napoleon's coach, and 
his three brothers occupied the next. I thought these men all 
appeared cheerful ; at anyrate, no evil presentiments were 
visible in their countenances. After the Emperor had passed, 
my interest diminished. I was absorbed by reflection, and my 
mind was painfully diverted to the probable result of the 
impending contest, which would most likely plunge into a gory 
and crowded grave thousands of the gay and sparkling warriors 
who, full of the principle of life and activity, had that moment 
passed before me. 

The crowds in the Champ de Mars, the firing of the artillery, 
the spirited bustle of the entire scene, and the return of the 
same cortege after the Constitution had been proclaimed, left me 
in a state of absolute languor — every fresh idea supplanting its 
predecessor in my mind ; and when I returned to my hotel, it 
required more than a single bottle of Chateau Margot to restore 
the serenity of my over- excited nerves. 

The rejoicings which followed the promulgation of the Con- 
stitution were in a style of which I had no previous conception. 
I have already observed, and every person who has been much 
on the Continent will bear me out in the remark, that no people 
are so very adroit at embellishment as the French. Our car- 
penters, paper-hangers, etc., know no more about Parisian em- 
bellishments than our plain cooks do of the hundred and twenty- 
six modes of dressing a fresh egg, whereof every French cuisinier 
is perfectly master. 

Many temporary stands had been erected in the Champs 
d'Elysee, whence to toss out all species of provisions to the 
populace. Hams, turkeys, sausages, etc. etc., were to be had in 
abundance by scrambling for them. Twenty fountains of wine 
were set playing into the jars, cups, and pails of all who chose to 
adventure getting near them. A number of temporary theatres 
were constructed, and games started throughout the green. 
Quadrilles and waltzes were practised everywhere around ; all 



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baprington's personal sketches 



species of music — singing — juggling — in fine, everything that 
could stamp the period of the Emperor's departure on the minds 
of the people, were ordered to be put in requisition ; and a scene 
of enjoyment ensued, which, notwithstanding the bustle neces- 
sarily attendant, was conducted with the politeness and decorum 
of a drawing-room ; with much more, indeed, than prevails at 
most of our public assemblies. No pickpockets were heard of ; 
no disputes of any description arose ; the very lowest orders of 
the Trench canaille appear on such occasions cleanly dressed, and 
their very nature renders them polite and courteous to each 
other. They make way with respect for any woman, even from 
a duchess to a beggar-woman. 

The rejoicings concluded with a display of fireworks — a 
species of entertainment, by-the-by, wherein I never delighted. 
It commenced with a flight of five thousand rockets of various 
colours, and was terminated by the ascent of a balloon loaded 
with every species of firework, which, bursting high in the air, 
illuminated with overpowering blaze the whole atmosphere. 
By midnight, all, like an "unsubstantial pageant," had faded, 
leaving the ill-starred Emperor to pursue his route to partial 
victory, final defeat, and ruin.* 

* I have read with pleasure many parts of Napoleon's Second Reign, by Mr. 
Hobhouse. Though I do not coincide with that gentleman in all his views of 
the subject (differing from him in toto as to some), I admit the justice of a great 
portion of his observations, and consider the work, on the whole, as a very clever 
performance. In several matters of description and anecdote he has anticipated 
me ; and I really think has treated them with as much accuracy, and in a much 
more comprehensive manner, than I should or perhaps could have done. Mine, 
in fact, is but a sketch — his a history. In some matters of fact he appears to 
have been imperfectly informed ; but they are not errors of a sufficiently 
important nature to involve any charge of general inaccuracy. I myself kept an 
ample diary of the events of the Hundred Days (of so much of them at least as I 
spent in Paris), and until the re-entry of Louis ; and in fact subsequently, 
though less regularly. From these documents I have extracted what I now 
publish ; but the whole may perhaps hereafter appear in its original shape. 

I cannot but express my regret that Mr. Hobhouse did not remain in Paris 
until after Napoleon's return from Belgium, when there was a far wider and 
fairer field presented for the exercise of his pen. I really conceive it will be a 
loss to literature if he does not recur to that period (materials cannot be wanting), 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



127 



One remark in conclusion. — It was really extraordinary to 
witness the political apathy wherein the entire population, save 
the military, was bound. Scarce a single expression or indica- 
tion of party feeling escaped in any direction. All seemed bent 
on pleasure, and on pleasure alone ; careless whether the 
opportunity for its indulgence were afforded them by Kapoleon 
or Louis — by preparations for peace or war — by the establish- 
ment of despotism or liberty. They were, I sincerely believe, 
absolutely weary of politics, and inclined to view any suggestion 
of that nature with emotions of bitterness. At all times, 
indeed, the Parisians prefer pleasure to serious speculation ; and 
the wisest king of France will ever be that one who contrives to 
keep his good citizens constantly amv.scd. 

take up his own work where he finished, and continue it until the evacuation of 
Paris by the allied forces. The events of that interval are richly worth recording ; 
and it would fill up what is, as yet, nearly a blank in the history of Europe. — 
(Author's note.) 



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LAST DAYS OF THE IMPEEIAL GOVEENMENT. 

The Emperor having left Paris to take command of the army in 
Belgium, the garrison left in that city was necessarily very 
inconsiderable. It was the universal belief that the allies would 
be surprised by a simultaneous attack, and the event warranted 
this supposition. The result was — a double defeat of Blucher ; 
the separation of the Prussian and British armies ; the retreat 
of Lord Wellington upon Brussels ; the march of Grouchy upon 
that city ; and the advance of Napoleon. The impatience of the 
Parisians for news may be easily conceived ; nor were they kept 
long in suspense. Meanwhile there ran through the whole 
mass of society a suspicion that treachery was on foot, but 
nobody could guess in what shape it would explode. The 
assassination of Napoleon was certainly regarded as a thing in 
contemplation, and the disaffection of sundry general officers 
publicly discussed at the Palais Eoyal ; but no names were 
mentioned except Fouche's. 

On Sunday, the 18th of June, at daybreak, I was roused by 
the noise of artillery. I arose and instantly sallied out to 
inquire the cause. Nobody could at the moment inform me ; 
but it was soon announced that it was public rejoicings on 
account of a great victory gained by Napoleon over the 
Prussians commanded by Blucher, and the English by the Duke 
of Wellington ; that the allies had been partly surprised, and 
were in rapid retreat, followed by the Emperor, and flanked by 
Grouchy ; that a lancer had arrived as courier, and given many 
details — one of which was that our Light Dragoons, under Lord 
Anglesea, had been completely destroyed. 

I immediately determined to quit Paris for the day. It was 
Sunday ; everybody was a-foot, the drums were beating in all 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



129 



directions, and it was impossible to say how the canaille might, 
in exultation at the victory, be disposed to act by the English 
in Paris. We therefore set out early and breakfasted at St. 
Cloud. The report of the victory had reached that village, but 
I perceived no indication of any great feeling on the subject. 
We adjourned to Bagatelle, in the very pretty gardens of which 
we sauntered about till dinner-time. 

This victory did not surprise me ; for when I saw the magni- 
ficent array of troops on the occasion of the Promulgation, I had 
adopted the unmilitary idea that they must he invincible. As 
yet we had heard no certain particulars : about eleven o'clock, 
however, printed bulletins were liberally distributed, announcing 
an unexpected attack on the Prussian and English armies with 
the purpose of dividing them, which purpose was stated to be 
fully accomplished ; the Duke of Brunswick killed ; the Prince 
of Orange wounded ; two Scotch regiments broken and sabred ; 
Lord Wellington in full retreat ; Blucher's army absolutely 
ruined ; and the Emperor in full march for Brussels, where the 
Belgian army would join the French, and march unitedly for 
Berlin. The day was rather drizzling : we took shelter in the 
grotto, and were there joined by some Parisian shopkeeper and 
his family, who had come out from the capital for their recrea- 
tion. This man told us a hundred incidents which were 
circulated in Paris with relation to the battle. Among other 
things, it was said, that if the Emperor's generals did their duty, 
the campaign might be already considered over, since every man 
in France and Belgium would rise in favour of the Emperor. 
He told us news had arrived that the Austrians were to be 
neutral, and that the Paissians durst advance no further ; that 
the King of Prussia would be dethroned, and that it was gener- 
ally believed Lord Wellington would either be dead or in the 
Castle of Vincennes by Wednesday morning ! This budget of 
intelligence our informant communicated himself in a very 
neutral way, and without betraying the slightest symptom either 
of gratification or the reverse ; and as it was impossible to doubt 
the main point (the defeat), I really began to think all was lost, 

VOL. II. K 



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and that it was high time to consider how we should get out of 
Trance forthwith ; more particularly as the Emperor's absence 
from Paris would, by leaving it at the mercy of the populace, render 
that city no longer a secure residence for the subjects of a hostile 
kingdom. How singular was the fact, that at the very moment 
I was receiving this news — at the very instant when I conceived 
Napoleon again the conqueror of the world, and the rapidity of 
his success as only supplementary to the rapidity of his previous 
return, and a prelude to fresh achievements — that bloody and de- 
cisive conflict was actually at its height, which had been decreed 
by Providence to terminate Napoleon's political existence ! 
What an embarrassing problem to the mind of a casuist must a 
speculation be, as to the probable results, at this day, of a 
different dispensation ! 

Our minds were now made up to quit Paris on the following 
Thursday ; and, as the securest course, to get down to St. 
Maloes, and thence to Jersey, or some of the adjacent islands : 
and without mentioning our intention, I determined to make 
every preparation connected with the use of the sauf conduit 
which I had procured on my first arrival in Paris. But fate 
decreed it otherwise. Napoleon's destiny had been meantime 
decided, and my flight became unnecessary. 

On returning to Paris, we found everything quiet. On that 
very Sunday night, my servant, the Henry Thevenot, told me 
that he had heard the French had got entangled in a forest, and 
met a repulse. He said he had been told this at a public house 
in Eue Mont Blanc. 

I feared the man : I suspected him to be on the espionnage 
establishment, and therefore told him to say no more to me 
about the war, and that I wished much to be in England. 

About nine on Thursday morning, as soon as I rose, Theve- 
not again informed me, with a countenance which gave no 
indication of his own sentiments, that the French were totally 
defeated, that the Emperor had returned to Paris, and that the 
English were in full march to the capital. 

I always dreaded lest the language of my servant might in 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



131 



some way implicate me, and I now chid him for telling me so 
threat a falsehood. 

* It is true," returned he. 

Still I could not believe it ; and I gave him notice, on the 
spot, to quit my service. He received this intimation with 
much seeming indifference, and his whole deportment impressed 
me with suspicion. I went immediately, therefore, to Messrs. 
Lafitte, my bankers, and the first person I saw was my friend, 
Mr. Phillips, very busily employed at his desk in the outside 
room. 

"Do you know, Phillips," said I, "that I have been obliged 
to turn off my servant for spreading a report that the French 
are beaten and the Emperor returned?" 

Phillips, without withdrawing his eyes from what he was 
engaged on, calmly and concisely replied, " It is true enough." 

" Impossible !" exclaimed I. 

" Quite possible," returned this man of few words. 

* Where is Napoleon?" said I. 

" In the Palais de Bourbon Ely see," said he. 

I saw it was in vain to expect further communication from 
Mr. Phillips, and I went into an inner chamber to Mr. Clement, 
who seemed however more taciturn than the other. 

Being most anxious to learn all the facts, I proceeded to the 
Palais d'Elysee, my scepticism having meanwhile undergone 
great diminution from seeing an immense number of splendid 
equipages darting through the streets, filled with full-dressed 
men, plentifully adorned with stars and orders. When I got to 
the palace, I found the court full of carriages, and a large body 
of the National Guard under arms ; yet I could scarcely believe 
my eyes ; but I soon learned the principal fact from a hundred 
mouths and with a thousand different details : my informants 
agreeing only on one point — namely, that the army was defeated 
ly treachery, and that the Emperor had returned to Paris in 
quest of new materiel. Groups and crowds were collecting every- 
where, and confusion reigned triumphant. 

Being somewhat rudely driven out of the courtyard, I now 



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went round to the Champs d'Elysee, at the rear of the palace. 
Sentinels belonging to Napoleon's Guard were by this time posted 
outside the long terrace that skirts the garden. They would 
permit no person to approach close ; but I was near enough to 
discern Napoleon walking deliberately backwards and forwards 
on that terrace, in easy conversation with two persons, whom I 
conceived to be his uncle Cardinal Fesch and Count Bertrand ; 
and I afterwards heard that I was right. The Emperor wore a 
short blue coat and a small three-cocked hat, and held his hands 
behind his back, seemingly in a most tranquil mood. Nobody 
could in fact suppose he was in any agitation whatever, and the 
Cardinal appeared much more earnest in the conversation than 
himself. I stood there about fifteen minutes, when the sentries 
ordered us off ; and, as I obeyed, I saw Napoleon walk up towards 
the palace. 

I never saw the Emperor of the French after that day, which 
was, in fact, the last of his reign. It ought to have been the last 
day of his existence, or the first of some new series of achieve- 
ments ; but fate had crushed the man, and he could rouse him- 
self no more. Though I think he could count but scantily on 
the fidelity of the National Guards, yet he was in possession of 
Montmartre, and, as the event proved, another and a very power- 
ful army might soon have been gathered about him. Perhaps, 
too, had Bonaparte rallied in good earnest, he might have suc- 
ceeded in working even on the very pride of his former subjects 
to free the soil of the grande nation from foreign invasion. 

Madame Le Jeune, the mistress of the hotel wherein we 
resided, was sister to General Le Jeune, the admirable painter 
who executed those noble pieces of the battles of Jena and 
Austerlitz, which had been in the outside room at the gallery of 
the Tuilleries. I am no judge of painting, but I think everything 
he did (and his pieces were numerous) possessed great effect. 
Through him, until the siege terminated by the surrender of 
Paris, we learned all that was going on amongst the French ; 
and through Dr. Marshall and Colonel Macirone I daily became 
acquainted with the objects of the English, as I verily believe 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



133 



those two gentlemen were at the same time in correspondence 
with both the British and French authorities. 

After Napoleon had been a few days making faint and fruit- 
less endeavours to induce the deputies to grant him the materiel 
and aid him in a new armament, their coldness to himself indivi- 
dually became too obvious to be misconstrued. Fortune had, in 
fact, forsaken Napoleon ; and friends too often follow fortune ; 
and it soon became notorious that Fouche had every disposition 
to seal his master's destruction. The Emperor had, however, 
still many true and faithful friends, many ardent partisans on 
whose fidelity he might rely. He had an army which could not 
be estranged, which no misfortune could divert from him. But 
his enemies (including the timid and the neutral among the 
deputies) appeared to me decidedly to outnumber those who 
would have gone far in ensuring his reinstatement. Tranquillity 
seemed to be the general wish, and the re-equipment of Napoleon 
would have rendered it unattainable. 

During the debates in the Deputies after Napoleon's return 
I was almost daily present. I met a gentleman who procured 
me a free admission, and through whom I became acquainted by 
name with most, and personally with many, of the most cele- 
brated characters, not only of the current time, but also who had 
flourished during the different stages of the revolution. I was 
particularly made known to Garat, who had been minister of 
justice at the time Louis XVI. was beheaded, and had read to 
him his sentence and conducted him to the scaffold. Although 
he had not voted for the king's death, he durst not refuse to 
execute his official functions. His attendance, therefore, could 
not be considered as voluntary. He was at this time a member 
of the Deputies. His person would well answer the idea of a 
small, slight, sharp-looking, lame tailor; but his conversation 
was acute, rational, and temperate. He regarded Napoleon as 
lost beyond all redemption ; nor did he express any great 
regret hereat, seeming to me a man of much mental reservation. 
I suspect he had been too much of a genuine republican, and of 
too democratic and liberal a policy, ever to have been any great 



134 



BARItlNGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



admirer even of the most splendid of imperators. I think he 
was sent out of Paris on the king's restoration. 

My friend having introduced me to the librarian of the 
Chamber of Deputies, I was suffered to sit in the anteroom or 
library whenever I chose, and had consequently a full oppor- 
tunity of seeing the ingress and egress of the deputies, who fre- 
quently formed small groups in the anteroom, and entered into 
earnest although brief conferences. My ready access to the 
gallery of the House itself enabled me likewise to know the 
successive objects of their anxious solicitude. 

The librarian was particularly obliging, and suffered me to 
see and examine many of the most curious old documents. But 
the original manuscript of Kousseau's " Confessions," and of his 
" Eloisa," produced me a real treat. His writing is as legible as 
print : the " Eloisa," a work of mere fancy, without one oblitera- 
tion ; whilst the " Confessions," which the author put forth as 
matter of fact, are, oddly enough, full of alterations in every 
page. 

When I wished for an hour of close observation, I used to 
draw my chair to a window, get Eousseau into my hand, and, 
whilst apparently riveted on his " Confessions," watch from the 
corner of my eye the earnest gesticulation and ever-varying 
countenances of some agitated group of deputies ; many of them, 
as they passed by, cast a glance on the object of my attention, 
of which I took care that they should always have a complete 
view. 

Observing one day a very unusual degree of excitement 
amongst the members in the Chamber, and perceiving the sally 
of the groups into the library to be more frequent and earnest 
than ordinary, I conceived that something very mysterious was 
in agitation. I mentioned my suspicions to a well-informed 
friend : he nodded assent, but was too wise or too timorous to 
give any opinion on so ticklish a subject. I well knew that 
Napoleon had been betrayed, because I had learned from an 
authentic source that secret despatches had been actually sent 
by Fouche to the allies, and that the embassy to the Emperor 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



135 



of Russia, from M. Lafitte, etc., had been some hours anticipated 
and counteracted by the chief commissioner of government. 

It was clear to everybody that Xapoleon had lost his forti- 
tude ; in fact, to judge by his conduct, he seemed so feeble and 
irresolute that he had ceased to be formidable, and it occurred 
to me that some sudden and strong step was in the contempla- 
tion of his true friends, to raise his energies once more, and 
stimulate him to resistance. I was led to think so, particularly, 
by hearing some of his warmest partisans publicly declare that, 
if he had not lost all feeling both for himself and France, he 
should take the alternative of either reigning again or dying in 
the centre of his still-devoted army. 

The next day confirmed my surmises. I discovered that a 
letter had been written without signature, addressed to Count 
Thibaudeau, but not yet sent, disclosing to him, in detail and 
with proofs, the treachery of Fouche, etc., and advising the 
Emperor instantly to arrest the traitors, unfold the treason to 
the Chambers — then put himself at the head of his guards, re- 
assemble the army at Vilette, and, before the allies could unite, 
make one effort more to save France from subjugation. This 
was, I heard, the purport of the letter ; and I also learned the 
mode and hour determined on to carry it to Count Thibaudeau. 
It was to be slipped into the letter-box in the anteroom of the 
Chamber, which was used, as I have already mentioned, as a 
library. I was determined to ascertain the fact ; and, seated 
in one of the windows, turning over the leaves and copying 
passages out of my favourite manuscripts, I could see plainly 
where the letter-box was placed, and kept it constantly in my 
eye. The crowd was always considerable ; groups were convers- 
ing ; notes and letters were every moment put into the box for 
delivery ; but I did not see the person who had been described 
to me as about to give Count Thibaudeau the information. At 
length, however, I saw him warily approach the box : he was 
obviously agitated — so much so, indeed, that far from avoiding, 
his palpable timidity would have excited observation. He had 
the note in his hand : he looked around him, put his hand to- 



136 



barrington's personal sketches 



ward the box, withdrew it, changed colour, made a second effort 
— and his resolution again faltering, walked away without 
effecting his purpose. I afterwards learned that the letter had 
been destroyed, and that Count Thibaudeau received no intima- 
tion till too late. 

This was an incident fraught with portentous results : had 
that note been dropped, as intended, into the box, the fate of 
Europe might have remained long undecided ; Fouche, the most 
eminent of traitors, would surely have met his due reward ; 
Bonaparte would have put himself at the head of the army as- 
sembling at Vilette — numerous, enthusiastic, and desperate. 
Neither the Austrian nor Eussian armies were within reach of 
Paris ; whilst that of the French would, I believe, in point of num- 
bers, have exceeded the English and Prussian united force ; and it 
is more than probable that the most exterminating battle which 
ever took place between two great armies would have been 
fought next day in the suburbs, or perhaps in the Boulevards of 
Paris. 

Yery different indeed were the consequences of that suppres- 
sion. The evil genius of Napoleon pressed down the balance, 
and instead of any chance of remounting his throne, he forfeited 
both his lofty character and his life ; and Fouche, dreading the 
risk of detection, devised a plan to get the Emperor clear out of 
France, and put him at least into the power of the British govern- 
ment. 

This last occurrence marked finally the destiny of Napoleon. 
Fortune had not only forsaken, hu.t she mocked him ! She tossed 
about, and played with, before she destroyed her victim — one 
moment giving him hopes which only rendered despair more 
terrible the next. After what I saw of his downfall, no public 
event, no revolution, can ever excite in my mind one moment of 
surprise. I have seen, and deeply feel, that we are daily deceived 
in our views of everything and everybody. 

Bonaparte's last days of power were certainly full of tremen- 
dous vicissitudes : — on one elated by a great victory — on the 
next overwhelmed by a fatal overthrow. Hurled from a lofty 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



137 



throne into the deepest profundity of misfortune ; bereft of his 
wife and only child ; persecuted by his enemies ; abandoned by 
his friends ; betrayed by his ministers ; humbled, depressed, 
paralysed ; — his proud heart died within him ; his great spirit 
was quenched ; and, after a grievous struggle, despair became 
his conqueror, and Napoleon Bonaparte degenerated into an 
ordinary mortal. 



138 



HARRINGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



DETENTION AT VILETTE. 

In the month of July 1815 there was a frequent intercourse of 
parlementaires between the commissioners of the Erench govern- 
ment and the allies. Davoust, Prince d'Eckmuhl, commanded 
the Erench army assembled at Vilette and about the Canal 
d'Ourk, a neighbourhood where many thousand Eussians had 
fallen in the battle of the preceding summer. I had the greatest 
anxiety to see the Erench army ; and Colonel Macirone being 
sent out with one of Fouche's despatches to the Duke of Well- 
ington, I felt no apprehension, being duly armed with my sauf 
conduit, and thought I would take that opportunity of passing 
the Barrier de Eoule, and strolling about until Macirone's car- 
riage should come up. It, however, by some mischance drove 
rapidly by me, and I was consequently left in rather an awk- 
ward situation. 

I did not remain long in suspense, being stopped by two 
officers, who questioned me somewhat tartly as to my presump- 
tion in passing the sentries, " who," said they, " must have mis- 
taken you for one of the Commissaries' attendants." I produced 
my passport, which stood me in no further advantage than to 
ensure a very civil arrest. I was directly taken to the quarters 
of Marshal Davoust, who was at the time breakfasting on grapes 
and bread in a very good hotel by the side of the canal. He 
showed at first a sort of austere indifference that was extremely 
disagreeable to me : but on my telling him who I was, and every- 
thing relating to the transaction, the manifestation of my can- 
dour struck him so forcibly, that he said I was at liberty to walk 
about, but not to repass the lines till the return of the parle- 
mentaires, and further inquiry made about me. I was not alto- 
gether at my ease : the Prince was now very polite, but I knew 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



139 



nobody, and was undoubtedly a suspicious person. However, I 
was civilly treated by the officers who met me, and on the con- 
trary received many half-English curses from several soldiers, 
who, I suppose, had been prisoners in England. I was extremely 
hungry and much fatigued, and kept on the bank of the canal, 
as completely out of the way of the military as I could. 

I was at length thus accosted in my own language by an 
elderly officer : 

" Sir," said he, " I think I have seen you in England ?" 

" I have not the honour to recollect having met you, sir," re- 
plied L 

" I shall not readily forget it," rejoined the French officer : 
" do you remember being, about two years since, in the town of 
Odiham?" 

"Very well," said I. 

"You recollect some French officers who were prisoners 
there?" 

These words at once brought the circumstance to my mind, 
and I answered, " I do now recollect seeing you, perfectly." 

" Yes," said my interlocutor, " I was one of the three foreigners 
who were pelted with mud by the garcons in the streets of Odi- 
ham ; and do you remember striking one of the garcons who 
followed us for their conduct ?" 

" I do not forget it." 

" Come with me, sir," pursued he, "and we'll talk it over in 
another place." 

The fact had been as he represented. A few French officers, 
prisoners at Odiham, were sometimes roughly treated by the 
mob. Passing by chance one day with Lady Barrington through 
the streets of that town, I saw a great number of boys following, 
hooting, and hissing the French officers. I struck two or three 
of these idle dogs with my cane, and rapped at the constable's 
door, who immediately came out and put them to flight, — in- 
terfering, however, rather reluctantly on the part of what he 
called the "d — d French foreigners" I expressed and felt great 
indignation ; the officers thanked me warmly, and I believe were 
shortly after removed to Oswestry. 



140 



barrington's personal sketches 



My friend told me that his two comrades at Odiham were 
killed — the one at Waterloo, and the other by a waggon passing 
over him at Charleroi on the 16th of June ; and that scarcely 
an officer who had been prisoner at his first d&pot at Oswestry 
had survived the last engagements. He gave me in his room at 
Vilette, wine, bread, and grapes, with dried sausages well seasoned 
with garlic, and a glass of eau-de-vie. I was highly pleased at 
this rencontre. My companion was a most intelligent person, 
and communicative to the utmost extent of my curiosity. His 
narrative of many of the events of the battles of the 16th and 
18th ultimo was most interesting, and carried with it every mark 
of candour. The minutes rolled away speedily in his company, 
and seemed to me indeed far too fleeting. 

He had not been wounded, though in the heat of both en- 
gagements. He attributed the loss of the battle to three causes : 
— the wanton expenditure of the cavalry; the negligent un- 
covering of the right wing by Grouchy ; and the impetuosity 
of Napoleon in ordering the last attack by the Old Guard, which 
he should have postponed till next day. He said he had no 
doubt that the Belgian troops would all have left the field before 
morning. He had been engaged on the left, and did not see the 
Prussian attack ; but said that it had the effect of consolidating 
all the different corps of the French army. * 

He told me that Napoleon was forced off the field by the 
irresistable crowds which the advance of the English cavalry 
had driven into disorder, whilst there was not a possibility of 
rallying a single squadron of their own. 

In this agreeable society my spirits mounted again, and I 
soon acquired courage sufficient to express my great anxiety to 
see the army, adding that I durst not go alone. My friend im- 
mediately took me under his arm, and walked with me through 
the whole lines, introducing me to several of his comrades, and 
acting throughout in the kindest and most gentlemanly manner. 
This was precisely the opportunity I had so long wished for of 
viewing the French troops, which were then full of impetuosity 

* A fact now well known. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



141 



and confidence, and eager for battle. Neither the Russians nor 
Austrians had reached Paris, and it was supposed Davoust 
would anticipate the attack of the other allies, who only waited 
for the junction of these powers and their heavy artillery to re- 
commence operations. The scene was so new to me, so im- 
pressive, and so important, that it was only on my return home 
my mind got steady enough to organise its ideas, and permit 
me to take coherent notes of what I had witnessed. 

The battle of Waterloo was understood to have dispersed so 
entirely the French army — that powerful and glorious display 
of heroes and of arms which a very few days previously had 
passed before my eyes — that scarcely ten men (except Grouchy's 
division) returned in one body to Paris ; and those who did 
return were in such a state of wretchedness and depression, that 
I took for granted the spirit of the French army had been ex- 
tinguished, their battalions never to be rallied, their courage 
thoroughly cooled ! I considered that the assembly at Yilette 
could not be numerous, and was more calculated to make a show 
for better terms than to resist the conquerors. How great then 
must have been my astonishment when the evening parade 
turned out, as the officers informed me, above sixty-Jive thousand 
infantry, which, with artillery and cavalry, reached together 
near 80,000 men ! I thought several of the privates had drunk 
rather too much ; but whether sober or not, they seemed to be 
all in a state of wild, enthusiastic excitement — little removed 
from insubordination, but directly tending to hostility and battle. 
Whole companies cried aloud, as the superior officers passed by 
them, " Mori General — a Tattaque ! — Tennemi ! Tennemi ! — 
allons! allons!" others shouted, ■ Nous sommes trahis ! trahison! 
trahison ! a la bataille ! d la bataille ! " Crowds of them, as if 
by instinct or for pastime, would rush voluntarily together, and 
in a moment form a long column, then disperse and execute 
some other manoeuvre ; whilst others, dispersed in groups, sang 
in loud chorus sundry war-songs, wherein les Prusses and les 
Anglais were the general theme. 

I had no conception how it was possible that, in a few days 



142 



baeeington's peesonal sketches 



after such a total dispersion of the French army, another could 
be so rapidly collected, and which, though somewhat less 
numerous, the officer told me evinced double the enthusiasm of 
those who had formed the defeated corps. They had now, it is 
true, the stimulus of that defeat to urge them desperately on to 
retrieve that military glory which had been so awfully obscured. 
Their artillery was most abundant ; and we must never forget 
that the French soldier is always better informed and possessed 
of more morale than our own. In truth, I really do believe 
there was scarcely a man in that army at Yilette who would 
willingly have quitted the field of battle alive, unless victorious. 

Though their tumultuous excitement certainly at this time 
bore the appearance of insubordination, my conductor assured 
me I was mistaken in forming such a judgment ; he admitted 
that they durst not check that exuberant zeal on the instant ; 
but added, that when the period arrived to form them for battle, 
not a voice would be heard, not a limb move, till the attack 
commenced, except by order of their leaders ; and that if the 
traitors in Paris suffered them once more to try their fortune, 
he did not think there was an individual in that army who 
entertained a doubt of the result. 

In the production of this confidence, party spirit doubtless 
was mixed up ; but no impartial observer could deny, that, if 
the troops at Yilette had been heartily joined by forty thousand 
of the National Guards and country volunteers then within the 
walls of Paris, the consequence would have been at least ex- 
tremely problematical. 

The day passed on, and I still strolled about with my polite 
conductor, whom I begged to remain with me. He was not an 
officer of high rank — I believe a captain of the eighty-first 
infantry — tall, very thin, gentlemanly, and had seen long 
service. 

From this crowd of infuriated soldiers, he led me farther to 
the left, whither a part of the Old Guard, who had been I believe 
quartered at Montmartre, had for some cause or other been that 
evening removed. I had, as the reader will perhaps recollect, a 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



143 



previous opportunity of admiring that unrivalled body of veteran 
warriors, and their appearance this evening interested me beyond 
measure. Every man looked like an Ajax, exhibiting a firmness 
of step and of gesture at once formidable and even graceful. At 
the same time, I fancied that there was a cast of melancholy 
over their bronzed countenances. When I compare what I that 
day witnessed to the boyish, ordinary-looking corps now generally 
composing the guardians of that once military nation, I can 
scarcely avoid sighing whilst I exclaim Tempora mutantur. 

I grew, however, at length impatient ; evening was closing, 
and, if detained, I must, I suppose, have bivouacked. To be 
sure, the weather was so fine that it would have been of no 
great consequence ; still my situation was disagreeable, and the 
more so, as my family, being quite ignorant of it, must neces- 
sarily feel uneasy. I was therefore becoming silent and 
abstracted (and my friend had no kind of interest to get me 
released), when two carriages appeared driving towards the 
barrier where we stood. A shot was fired by the advanced 
sentry at one of them, which immediately stopped. A party 
was sent out, and the carriage entered ; there were two gentlemen 
in it, one of whom had received the ball, I believe, in his 
shoulder. A surgeon instantly attended, and they proceeded 
within the lines. They proved to be two of the parlcment aires 
who had gone out with despatches. The wound was not mortal ; 
and its infliction arose from a mistaken construction, on the part 
of the sentinel, of his orders. 

The other carriage (in which was Colonel Macirone) drove on 
without stopping at the head-quarters of Davoust. My kind 
companion said he would now go and try to get me dismissed ; 
he did so, and procured an order for my departure, on signing 
my name, address, and occupation, and the name of some person 
who knew me in Paris. I mentioned Mr. Phillips of Lafitte's, 
and was then suffered to depart. It will be imagined that I was 
not dilatory in walking home, where, of course, I was received as 
a lost sheep, no member of my family having the slightest idea 
whither I had gone. 



144 



barrington's personal sketches 



The officer, as lie accompanied me to the barrier, described to 
me the interview between the parlementaires and Davoust. 
They had, it seems, made progress in the negotiation, very much 
against the Marshal's inclinations. He was confident of victory, 
and expressed himself, with great warmth, in the following em- 
phatic words : — " Begone ! and tell your employer, Fouche, that 
the Prince of Eckmuhl will defend Paris till its flames set this 
handkerchief on fire !" waving one as he spoke. 



1 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



145 



PROJECTED ESCAPE OF NAPOLEON. 

It was the received opinion that the allies would form a blockade 
rather than venture an assault on Paris. The numerical strength 
and morale of the French army at Vilette the reader has already 
seen. The English army was within view of and occupied St. 
Denis ; the Prussians were on the side of Sevres ; and the 
Russians were expected in the direction of Charenton, along the 
Marne. That Paris might have been taken by storm is possible ; 
but if the French army had been augmented by one-half of the 
National Guard, the effort would surely have been most sangui- 
nary, and the result most doubtful. Had the streets been inter- 
sected, mines sunk, the bridges broken down, and the populace 
armed as well as circumstances would permit (the heights being 
at the same time duly defended), though I am not a military 
man, and therefore very liable to error on such a subject, I have 
little doubt, instead of mere negotiation, it would have cost the 
allies more than one half of their forces before they had arrived 
in the centre of the French metropolis. The defence of Sara- 
gossa by Palafox proved the possibility of defending an open 
town against a valorous enemy. 

I was breakfasting in Dr. Marshall's garden when we heard 
a heavy firing commence : it proceeded from Charenton, about 
three miles from Faris, where the Russian advanced guard had 
attacked the bridge, which had not been broken up, although it 
was one of the leading avenues to Vincennes. Fouche, indeed, 
had contrived to weaken this post effectually, so that the defence 
there could not be long protracted ; and he had also ordered ten 
thousand stand of arms to be taken secretly out of Paris and 
lodged in Yincennes, to prevent the Parisians from arming. 

The discharges continuing in occasional volleys, like a sort 

VOL. II. L 



146 



barrington's personal sketches 



of running-fire. I was most anxious to go to some spot which 
would command that part of the country, but the doctor dis- 
suaded me, saying it could not be a severe or lengthened struggle, 
as Fouche had taken care of that matter. I led him gradually 
into conversation on the business, and he made known to me, 
though equivocally, much more than I had ever suspected. Every 
despatch, every negotiation, every step which it was supposed 
by such among the French as had their country's honour and 
character at heart, might operate to prevent the allies from ap- 
proaching Paris after the second abdication, had been either 
accompanied by counter-applications, or defeated by secret in- 
structions from Fouche. 

While mock negotiations were thus carrying on at a distance, 
and before the English army had reached St. Denis, Bonaparte 
was already at Malmaison. It had become clear that he was a 
lost man, and this most celebrated of all soldiers on record 
proved by his conduct, at that crisis, the distinction between 
animal and mental courage ; the first is an instinctive quality 
enjoyed by us in common with many of the brute creation, the 
latter is the attribute of man alone. The first, Napoleon emi- 
nently possessed ; in the latter he was certainly defective. Frede- 
rick the Great, in mental courage, was altogether superior to 
Napoleon. He could fight and fly, and rally and fight again ; 
his spirit never gave in ; his perseverance never flagged ; he 
seemed, in fact, unsusceptible of despondency, and was even 
greater in defeat than in victory : he never quitted his army 
whilst a troop could be rallied ; and the seven years' war proved 
that the king of Prussia was equally illustrious, whether fugi- 
tive or conqueror 

Napoleon reversed those qualities. No warrior that history 
records ever was so great whilst successful: his victories were 
followed up with the rapidity of lightning ; in overwhelming an 
army he, in fact, often subdued a kingdom, and profited more by 
each triumph than any general that had preceded him. But he 
could not stand up under defeat ! 

The several plans for Napoleon's escape I heard as they were 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



147 



successively formed ; such of them as had an appearance of 
plausibility, Fouche found means to counteract. It would not 
be amusing to relate the various devices which were suggested 
for this purpose. Napoleon was meanwhile almost passive and 
wrapped in apathy. He clung to existence with even a mean 
tenacity ; and it is difficult to imagine but that his intellect 
must have suffered before he was led to endure a life of igno- 
minious exile. 

At Dr. Marshall's hotel one morning, I remarked his tra- 
velling carriage as if put in preparation for a journey, having 
candles in the lamps, etc. A smith had been examining it, and 
the servants were all in motion. I suspected some movement 
of consequence, but could not surmise what. The Doctor did 
not appear to think that I had observed these preparations. 

On a sudden, whilst walking in the garden, I turned short on 
him. 

" Doctor," said I, at a venture, " you are going on an import- 
ant journey to-night." 

■ How do you know ?" said he, thrown off his guard by the 
abruptness of my remark. 

" Well !" continued I, smiling, " I wish you well out of it /" 

" Out of what ?" exclaimed he, recovering his self-possession, 
and sounding me in his turn. 

" Oh, no matter, no matter," said I, with a significant nod, as 
if I was already acquainted with his proceedings. 

This bait took in some degree ; and after a good deal of fencing 
(knowing that he could fully depend upon my secrecy), the 
Doctor led me into his study, where he said he would communi- 
cate to me a very interesting and important matter. He then 
unlocked his desk, and produced an especial passport for himself 
and his secretary to Havre de Grace, thence to embark for Eng- 
land ; and he showed me a very large and also a smaller bag of 
gold, which he was about to take with him. 

He proceeded to inform me, that it was determined Napoleon 
should go to England ; that he had himself agreed to it ; and 
that he was to travel in Dr. Marshall's carriage, as his secretary, 



148 



barrington's personal sketches 



under the above-mentioned passport. It was arranged that, at 
twelve o'clock that night, the Emperor, with the Queen of Hol- 
land, were to be at Marshall's house, and to set off thence im- 
mediately ; that on arriving in England, he was forthwith to 
repair to London, preceded by a letter to the Prince Begent, 
stating that he threw himself on the protection and generosity 
of the British nation, and required permission to reside therein 
as a private individual. 

The thing seemed to me too romantic to be serious ; and the 
Doctor could not avoid perceiving my incredulity. He, however, 
enjoined me to secrecy, which by-the-by was unnecessary : I men- 
tioned the circumstance, and should have mentioned it, only to 
one member of my family, whom I knew to be as cautious as 
myself. But I determined to ascertain the fact ; and before 
twelve o'clock at night repaired to the Eue Pigale, and stood up 
underneath a door somewhat further on the opposite side of the 
street to Dr. Marshall's house. 

A strong light shone through the curtains of the first floor 
windows, and lights were also moving about in the upper storey. 
The court meantime was quite dark, and the indications altogether 
bespoke that something extraordinary was going forward in the 
house. Every moment I expected so see Napoleon come to the 
gate. He came not : — but about half after twelve, an elderly 
officer buttoned up in a blue surtout rode up to the porte-cochere, 
which, on his ringing, was instantly opened. He went in, and 
after remaining about twenty minutes, came out on horseback as 
before, and went down the street. I thought he might have 
been a precursor, and still kept my ground until, some time after, 
the light in the first floor was extinguished ; and thence inferring 
what subsequently proved to be the real state of the case, I 
returned homewards disappointed. 

Next day Dr. Marshall told me that Napoleon had been dis- 
suaded from venturing to Havre de Grace, as he believed by the 
Queen of Holland — some idea had occurred either to him or her 
that he might not be fairly dealt with on the road. I own the 
same suspicion had struck me when I first heard of the plot, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



149 



though I was far from implicating the Doctor in auy proceeding 
of a decidedly treacherous nature. The incident was, however, 
in all its bearings, an extraordinary one. 

My intimacy with Dr. Marshall at length ceased, and in 
a manner very disagreeable. I liked the man, and I do not wish 
to hurt his feelings ; but certain mysterious imputations thrown 
out by his lady terminated our connection. 

A person with whom I was extremely intimate happened to 
be in my drawing-room one day when Mrs. Marshall called. I 
observed nothing of a particular character, except that Mrs. 
Marshall went suddenly away ; and as I handed her into her 
carriage, she said, " You promised to dine with us to-morrow, 
and I requested you to bring any friend you liked ; but do not 
let it be that fellow I have just seen ; I have taken a great dis- 
like to his countenance!" No further observation was made, 
and the lady departed. 

On the next morning I received a note from Mrs. Marshall, 
stating that she had reason to know some malicious person 
had represented me as being acquainted with certain affairs very 
material for the government to understand, and as having 
papers in my possession which might be required from me by the 
minister Fouche ; advising me therefore to leave town for awhile, 
sooner than be troubled respecting business so disagreeable ; and 
adding that, in the meantime, Colonel Macirone would endea- 
vour to find out the facts, and apprise me of them. 

I never was more surprised in my life than at the receipt of 
this letter. I had never meddled at all in French politics, save 
to hear and see all I could, and say nothing. I neither held nor 
had held any political paper whatever ; and I therefore imme- 
diately went to Sir Charles Stuart, our ambassador, made my 
complaints, and requested his Excellency's personal interference. 
To my surprise, Sir Charles in reply asked me, how I could 
chance to know such a person as Macirone? I did not feel 
pleased at this, and answered somewhat tartly, " Because both 
the English and French governments, and his Excellency to 
boot, had not only intercourse with, but had employed Macirone 



150 



barrington's personal sketches 



both in Italy and Paris, and that I knew him to be at that 
moment in communication with persons of the highest respecta- 
bility in both countries." 

Sir Charles wrote a note to Fouche, informing him who I 
was, and I finally discovered it was all a scheme of Mrs. Mar- 
shall for a purpose of her own. This led me to other investiga- 
tions ; and the result was, that further communication with Dr. 
Marshall on my part became impossible. I certainly regretted 
the circumstance, for he was a gentlemanly and intelligent man. 

Colonel Macirone himself was soon taught by Fouche what 
it is to be the tool of a traitor. Although the colonel might 
have owed no allegiance to Napoleon, he owed respect to himself; 
and having forfeited this to a certain degree, he had the mor- 
tification to find that the only remuneration which the arch- 
apostate was disposed to concede him was public disgrace and a 
dungeon. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



151 



BATTLE OF SEVEES AND ISSY. 

My anxiety to witness a battle without being a party in it did 
not long remain ungratified. Whilst walking one afternoon on 
the Boulevard Italien, a very heavy firing of musketry and can- 
non burst upon my ear. It proceeded from up the course of the 
Seine, in the direction of Sevres. I knew at once that a military 
engagement was going forward, and my heart bounded at the 
thought. The sounds appeared to me of all others the most 
sublime and tremendous. One moment there was a rattling of 
musketry, which appeared nearer or more distant according to 
the strength of the gale which wafted its volleys ; another, the 
heavy echo of ordnance rolled through the groves and valley of 
Sevres, and the village of Issy ; again, these seemed superseded 
by a separate firing, as of small bodies of skirmishers ; and the 
whole was mingled with the shouts and hurras of the assailants 
and assailed. Altogether, my nerves experienced a sensation 
different from any that had preceded it, and alike distinguished 
both from bravery and fear. 

As yet the battle had only reached me by one sense ; although 
imagination, it is true, supplied the place of all. Though my 
eyes viewed not the field of action, yet the sanguinary conflict 
moved before my fancy in most vivid colouring. 

I was in company with Mr. Lewines when the first firing 
roused our attention, "A treble line" of ladies was seated in 
front of Tortoni's, under the lofty arbours of the Boulevard 
Italien, enjoying their ices and an early soiree, and attended by 
a host of unmilitary chers-amis, who, together with mendicant 
songsters and musicians, were dispersed along that line of female 
attraction which " occupied " one side of the entire boulevard, 
and with scarcely any interruption " stretched away" to the 



152 



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Porte St. Martin. Strange to say, scarcely a movement was 
excited amongst the fair part of the society by the report of the 
ordnance and musketry ; not one beauty rose from her chair, or 
checked the passage of the refreshing ice to her pouting lips. I 
could not choose but be astonished at this apathy, which was 
only disturbed by the thunder of a tremendous salvo of artillery, 
announcing that the affair was becoming more general. 

" Ah ! sacre Dieu ! ma chere!" said one lovely creature to 
another, as they sat at the entrance of Tortoni's : " sacre Dieu ! 
qu'est-ce que ce superbe coup-la V'—" C'est le canon, ma chere !" re- 
plied her friend ; " la hataille est a la pointe de commencer!' — 
" Ah I oui, oui ! c'est Men magnifique ! ecoutez ! ecoutez !" — "Ah!" 
returned the other, tasting with curious deliberation her lemon- 
ice ; a cette glace est tres excellente /" 

Meanwhile, the roar continued. I could stand it no longer ; 
I was stung with curiosity, and determined to see the battle. 
Being at a very little distance from our hotel, I recommended 
Lady Barrington and my family to retire thither,* and I imme- 
diately set off to seek a good position in the neighbourhood of 
the fight, which I imagined could not be far distant, as the 
sounds seemed every moment to increase in strength. I now 
perceived a great many gendarmes singly, and in profound 
silence, strolling about the boulevard, and remarking (though 
without seeming to notice) everything and everybody. 

I had no mode of accounting for the fortitude and indifference 
of so many females, but by supposing that a great proportion of 
them might have been themselves campaigning with their hus- 
bands or their cliers-amis — a circumstance that, I was told, had 
been by no means uncommon during the wars of the revolution 
and of Napoleon. 

One lady told me herself she did not dress for ten years in 
the attire of a female : her husband had acted, I believe, as com- 
missary-general. They are both living and well, to the best of 
my knowledge, at this moment, at Boulogne-sur-Mer, and the 
lady is particularly clever and intelligent. " Nothing," said she 

* Which advice they did not take. — {Author.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



153 



to me one day, " nothing, sir, can longer appear strange to me. 
I really think I have witnessed an example of everything in 
human nature, good or evil ! " — and from the various character 
of the scenes through which she had passed, I believe her. 

A Jew physician living in Eue Eichelieu,* who had a toler- 
able telescope, had lent it to me. I first endeavoured to gain 
admission into the pillar in the Place Vendome, but was refused. 
I saw that the roof of Notre Dame was already crowded ; and 
knew not where to go. I durst not pass a barrier, and I never 
felt the tortures of curiosity so strongly upon me ! At length I 
got a cabriolet, and desired the man to drive me to any point 
from whence I might see the conflict. He accordingly took me 
to the further end of Eue de Bataille, at Chailloit, in the vicinity 
whereof was the site marked out for the palace of the King of 
Eome. Here was a green plat, with a few trees ; and under one 
of those I sat down upon the grass and overlooked distinctly the 
entire left of the engagement and the sanguinary combat which 
was fought on the slopes, lawn, and about the house and courts 
of Bellevue. 

Whoever has seen the site of that intended palace must 
recollect that the view it commands is one of the finest imagin- 
able. It had been the hanging gardens of a monastery : the 
Seine flows at the foot of the slope, and thence the eye wanders 
to the hill of Bellevue and onwards to St. Cloud. The village 
of Issy, which commences at the foot of Bellevue, stretches itself 
thinly up the banks of the Seine towards Paris — nearly to one 
of the suburbs — leaving just a verdant border of meadow and 
garden-ground to edge the waters. Extensive undulating hills 
rise up behind the Hotel de Bellevue, and from them the first 
attack had been made upon the Prussians. In front the Pont 
de Jena opens the entrance to the Champ de Mars, terminated 
by the magnificent gilt dome of the Hotel des Invalides, with 
the city of Paris stretching to the left. 

It was a tranquil evening : the sun, in all his glory, piercing 
through the smoke which mounted from the field of battle, and 

* A friend of Baron Rothschild. — (Author.) 



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barrington's personal sketches 



illuminating its sombre flakes, likened it to a rich gilded canopy 
moving over the combatants. 

The natural ardour of my mind was peculiarly stimulated on 
this occasion. Never having witnessed before any scene of a 
corresponding nature, I could not repress a sensation of awe : I 
felt my breathing short or protracted as the character of the 
scene varied. An old soldier would no doubt have laughed at 
the excess of my emotion — particularly as the affair, although 
sharp, was not of a very extensive nature. One observation was 
forcibly impressed on me — namely, that both the firing and 
manoeuvring of the Trench were a great deal more rapid than 
those of the Prussians. When a change of position was made, 
the Prussians marched — the French ran : their advance was 
quicker — their retreat less regular, but their rallying seemed to 
me most extraordinary : dispersed detachments of the French 
reassociated with the rapidity of lightning, and advanced again 
as if they had never separated. 

The combatants within the palace of Bellevue and the 
courts were of course concealed ; but if I might judge from the 
constant firing within, the sudden rushes from the house, the 
storming at the entrance, and the battles on the lawn, there 
must have been great carnage. In my simplicity, in fact, I 
only wondered how anybody could escape. 

The battle now extended to the village of Issy, which was 
taken and retaken many times. Neither party could keep 
possession of it — scouting in and out as fortune wavered. At 
length, probably from the actual exhaustion of the men, the fire 
of musketry slackened, but the cannon still rolled at intervals 
around Sevres, and a Prussian shell fell into the celebrated 
manufactory of that place, whilst several cannon-shot pene- 
trated the handsome hotel which stands on an eminence above 
Sevres, and killed fourteen or fifteen Prussian officers, who were 
in a group taking refreshment. 

I now began to feel weary of gazing on the boisterous 
monotony of the fight, which, so far as any advantage appeared 
to be gained on either side, might be interminable. A man 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



155 



actually engaged in battle can see but little and think less ; but 
a secure and contemplative spectator has opened to him a field 
of inexhaustible reflection, and my faculties were fast becoming 
abstracted from the scene of strife when a loud and uncommon 
noise announced some singular event and once more excited 
me. We could not perceive whence it came, but guessed, and 
truly, that it proceeded from the demolition of the bridge of 
St. Cloud, winch the French had blown up. A considerable 
number of French troops now appeared withdrawing from the 
battle, and passing to our side of the river, on rafts, just under 
our feet. "We could not tell the cause of this movement, but it 
was reported by a man who came into the field that the English 
army at St. Denis was seen in motion, and that some attack 
on our side of the city itself might be expected. I scarcely 
believed this, yet the retreat of a part of the French troops 
tended not to discourage the idea ; and as the National Guards 
were heard beating to arms in all directions of the city, I 
thought it most advisable to return, which I immediately did 
before the firing had ceased, and in the same cabriolet. 

On my return, judge of my astonishment at finding the very 
same assemblage in the very same place on the boulevard as when 
I left it ; nor did a single being, except my own family, express 
the slightest curiosity upon hearing whence I had come. 

The English army, as it turned out, did not move. The 
firing, after a while, totally ceased ; and the French cavalry, 
which I did not see engaged, with some infantry marched into 
the Champ de Mars to take up their night's position. 

Having thus been gratified by the view of what, to my 
unaccustomed eyes, seemed a great battle, and would, I suppose, 
by military men be termed nothing more than a long skirmish, 
I met Sir Francis Gould, who proposed that we should walk to 
the Champ de Mars, "just," said he, "to see what the fellows 
are doing after the battle." 

To this I peremptorily objected, for reasons which must be 
obvious, and which seemed to prohibit any Englishman in his 
sober senses from going into such company at such a moment. 



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" Never mind," continued Sir Francis, " I love my skin 
every bit as well as you do yours, and depend upon it we shall 
not meet the slightest molestation. If we go with a lady in our 
company, be assured we may walk about and remain in the 
place as long as we please. I can speak from experience ! " 

" Ah, true, true ! but where is the lady V said I. 

" I will introduce you to a very charming one of my 
acquaintance," answered Sir Francis, " and I'll request her to do 
us the favour of accompanying us." I now half reluctantly 
agreed — curiosity prevailed as usual — and away we went to the 
lodgings of Sir Francis's fair friend. 

The lady certainly did not dishonour the epithet Sir Francis 
had bestowed on her. She was a young, animated, French girl, 
rather pretty, and well dressed — one of those lively creatures 
who, you would say, always have their " wits about them." 
My friend explained the request he had come to prefer, and 
begged her to make her toilet with convenient expedition. The 
lady certainly did not dissent, but her acquiescence was followed 
by a hearty and seemingly uncontrollable burst of laughter. 
" Excuse me, gentlemen," exclaimed she ; " but really I cannot 
help laughing. I will, with pleasure, walk with you ; but the 
idea of my playing the escort to two gallant English chevaliers, 
both d'dge mrir, is too ridiculous. However, nimporte ! I will 
endeavour to defend you, though against a whole army ! " 

The thing unquestionably did look absurd, and I could not 
restrain myself from joining in the laugh. Sir Francis too 
became infected, and we made a regular chorus of it, after which 
the gay Frenchwoman resumed — 

" But surely, Sir Francis, you pay the French a great com- 
pliment ; for you have often told me how you alone used to put 
to flight whole troops of rebels in your own country, and take 
entire companies with your single hand !" 

Champagne was now introduced, and Sir Francis and I having 
each taken a glass or two, at the lady's suggestion, to keep up our 
courage, we sallied out in search of adventures to the Champ de 
Mars. The sentinel at the entrance demurred a little on our 



OF HIS OWS TIMES. 



157 



presenting ourselves ; but our fair companion, with admirable 
presence of mind, put it to his gallantry not to refuse admittance 
to a lady ; and the polite soldier, with very good grace, permitted 
us to pass. Once fairly inside, we strolled about for above two 
hours, not only unmolested, but absolutely imnoticed — although I 
cannot say I felt perfectly at ease. It is certain that the presence 
of the female protected us. The respect paid to women by the 
French soldiery is apparent at all their meetings whether for 
conviviality or service ; and I have seen as much decorum pre- 
served in an alehouse festivity at Paris as at the far-famed 
Almack's in London. 

The scene within the barrier must have appeared curious to 
any Englishman. The troops had been about an hour on the 
ground after fighting all the evening in the village of Issy : the 
cavalry had not engaged, and their horses were picketed. The 
soldiers had got in all directions tubs of water, and were washing 
their hands and faces which had been covered with dirt — their 
mouths being quite blackened by the cartridges. In a little time 
everything was arranged for a merry-making : some took off 
their coats, to dance the lighter ; the bands played ; an immense 
number of women, of all descriptions, had come to welcome them 
back ; and in half-an-hour after we arrived there, some hundred 
couples were at the quadrilles and waltzes, as if nothing had oc- 
curred to disturb their tranquillity. It appeared, in fact, as if 
they had not only totally forgotten what had passed that day, 
but cared not a sous as to what might happen the next. 

Old women, with frying-pans strapped before them, were in- 
cessantly frying sliced potatoes, livers, and bacon : we tasted 
some of these dainties, and found them really quite savoury. 
Some soldiers, who were tired or perhaps slightly hurt, were sit- 
ting in the fosses cooking soup, and together with the vendors of 
bottled beer, etc., stationed on the elevated banks, gave the whole 
a picturesque appearance. I saw a very few men who had rags 
tied round their heads ; some who limped a little ; and others 
who had their hands in slings : but nobody seemed to regard 
these, or indeed anything except their own pleasure. The 



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wounded had been carried to hospitals, and I suppose the dead 
were left on the ground for the night. The guards mounted at 
the Champ de Mars were all fresh troops. 

There were few circumstances attending that memorable era 
which struck me more forcibly than the miserable condition of 
those groups of fugitives who continued every hour arriving in 
Paris during the few days immediately succeeding their signal 
discomfiture at Waterloo. These unfortunate stragglers arrived 
in parties of two, three, or four, and in a state of utter destitution 
— most of them without arms, many without shoes, and some 
almost naked. A great proportion of them were wounded and 
bandaged : they had scarcely rested at all on their return ; in 
short, I never beheld such pitiable figures. 

One of these unfortunate men struck me forcibly one evening 
as an object of interest and compassion. He was limping along 
the Boulevard Italien : his destination I knew not ; he looked 
elderly, but had evidently been one of the finest men I ever saw, 
and attached, I rather think, to the Imperial Guard. His shoes 
were worn out ; his clothes in rags ; scanty hairs were the only 
covering of his head ; one arm was bandaged up with a bloody 
rag, and slung from his neck by a string ; his right thigh and 
leg were also bandaged, and he seemed to move with pain and 
difficulty. 

Such figures were, it is true, so common during that period, 
that nobody paid them much attention : this man, however, 
somehow or other, interested me peculiarly. It was said that he 
was going to the Hotel Dieu, where he would be taken good care 
of : but I felt greatly for the old warrior ; and crossing the street, 
put, without saying a word, a dollar into his yellow and trembling 
hand. 

He stopped, looked at me attentively, then at the dollar ; 
and appearing doubtful whether or no he ought to receive it, 
said, with an emphatic tone, " Not for charity !" 

I saw his pride was kindled, and replied, " "No, my friend, 
in respect to your bravery !" and I was walking away, when I 
heard his voice exclaiming, " Monsieur, Monsieur ! " I turned, and 



OF HIS OWH TIMES. 



159 



as he hobbled up to me, he surveyed me in silence from head to 
foot ; then, looking earnestly in my face, he held out his hand 
with the dollar : " Excuse me, Monsieur," said he, in a firm and 
rather proud tone ; " you are an Englishman, and I cannot re- 
ceive bounty from the enemy of my Emperor." 

Good God ! thought I, what a man must Xapoleon have 
been ! This incident alone affords a key to all his victories. 



160 



barrington's personal sketches 



CAPITULATION OF PAEIS. 

The rapid succession of these extraordinary events bore to me 
the character of some optical delusion, and my mind was settling 
into a train of reflections on the past and conjectures as to the 
future, when Fouche capitulated for Paris, and gave up France 
to the discretion of its enemies. In a few hours after, I saw 
that enthusiastic, nay that half-frantic army of Vilette (in the 
midst of which I had an opportunity of witnessing a devotion to 
its chief which no defeat could diminish), on the point of total 
annihilation. I saw the troops, sad and crestfallen, marching 
out of Paris to consummate, behind the Loire, the fall of France 
as a warlike kingdom. With arms still in their hands, with a 
great park of artillery, and commanded by able generals, yet 
were they constrained to turn their backs on their metropolis, 
abandoning it to the " tender mercies " of the Eussian Cossacks, 
whom they had so often conquered. 

I saw likewise that most accomplished of traitors, Fouche\ 
Duke of Otranto (who had with impunity betrayed his patron 
and his master), betraying, in their turn, his own tools and 
instruments, signing lists of proscription for the death or exile of 
those whose ill fortune or worse principle had rendered them his 
dupes ; and thus confirming, in my mind, the scepticism as to 
men and measures which had long been growing on me. 

The only political point I fancy at present that I can see any 
certainty in, is, that the French nation is not mad enough to 
hazard lightly a fresh war with England. The highest-flown 
ultras — even the Jesuits themselves — cannot forget that to the 
inexhaustible perseverance of the United Kingdom is mainly 
attributable the present political condition of Europe. The 
people of France may not, it is true, owe us much gratitude ; 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



161 



but, considering that we transmitted both his present and his 
late majesty safely from exile here to their exalted station 
amongst the potentates of Europe, I do hope, for the honour of 
our common nature, that the government of that country would 
not willingly turn the weapons which we put into their hands 
against ourselves. If they should, however, it is not too much 
to add, bearing in mind what we have successfully coped with, 
that their hostility would be as ineffectual as ungrateful. And 
here I cannot abstain from briefly congratulating my fellow- 
countrymen on the manly and encouraging exposition of our 
national power recently put forth by Mr. Canning in the House 
of Commons. Let them rest assured that it has been felt by 
every Cabinet in Europe, even to its core. The Holy Alliance 
has dwindled into comparative insignificance ; and Great Britain, 
under an energetic and liberal-minded administration, re-assumes 
that influence to which she is justly entitled, as one in the first 
order of European empires. 

To return. — The conduct of the allies after their occupation 
of Paris was undoubtedly strange, to say the least of it ; and 
nothing could be more inconsistent than that of the populace on 
the return of King Louis. That Paris was betrayed is certain ; 
and that the article of capitulation which provided that " where- 
ever doubts existed, the construction should be in favour of the 
Parisians," was not adhered to, is equally so. It was never in 
contemplation, for instance, that the capital was to be rifled of 
all the monuments of art and antiquity, whereof she had become 
possessed by right of conquest. A reclamation of the great 
mortar in St. James's Park, or of the throne of the King of 
Ceylon, would have just as much appearance of fairness as that 
of Apollo by the Pope, and Venus by the Grand-Duke of Tus- 
cany. What preposterous affectation of justice was there in 
employing British engineers to take down the brazen horses of 
Alexander the Great, in order that they may be re-erected in St. 
Mark's Place at Venice — a city to which the Austrian Emperor 
has no more equitable a claim than we have to Vienna ! I 
always was, and still remain to be, decidedly of .opinion that, by 

VOL. II. M 



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giving our aid in emptying the Louvre, we authorised not only 
an act of unfairness to the French, but of impolicy as concerned 
ourselves ; since by so doing we have removed beyond the 
reach of the great majority of British artists and students the 
finest models of sculpture and of painting this world has 
produced. 

When this step was first determined on, the Prussians began 
with moderation. They rather smuggled away than openly 
stole fourteen paintings ; but no sooner was this rifling purpose 
generally made known than his Holiness, the Pope, was all 
anxiety to have his gods again locked up in the dusty store- 
rooms of the Vatican ! The Parisians now took fire. They 
remonstrated, and protested against this infringement of the 
treaty ; and a portion of the National Guards stoutly declared 
that they would defend the Gallery ! But the King loved the 
Pope's toe better than all the works of art ever achieved ; and 
the German Autocrat being also a devoted friend of St. Peter's 
(whilst at the same time he lusted after the "brazen images"), 
the assenting fiat was given. Wishing, however, to throw the 
stigma from the shoulders of Catholic monarchs upon those of 
Protestant soldiers, these wily allies determined that, although 
England was not to share the spoil, she should bear the trouble ; 
and therefore threatened the National Guards with a regiment of 
Scotchmen, which threat produced the desired effect. 

Now it may be said that the "right of conquest" is as strong 
on one side as on the other, and justifies the reclamation as 
fully as it did the original capture of these chef d'ceuvres, to which 
plausible argument I oppose two words — the treaty! the treaty! 
Besides, if the right of conquest is to decide, then I fearlessly 
advance the claim of Great Britain, who was the principal agent 
in winning the prize at Waterloo, and had therefore surely a 
right to wear at least some portion of it ; but who, nevertheless, 
stood by and sanctioned the injustice, although she had too high 
a moral sense to participate in it. What will my fellow-country- 
men say when they hear that the liberal motive which served to 
counterbalance, in the minds of the British ministry of that day, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



163 



the solid advantages resulting from the retention of the works of 
art at Paris, was a jealousy of suffering the French capital to 
remain "the Athens of Europe!" 

The farce played off between the French king and the allies 
was supremely ridiculous. The Cossacks bivouacked in the 
square of the Carousel before his Majesty's windows ; and 
soldiers dried their shirts and trousers on the iron railings of the 
palace. This was a nuisance ; and for the purpose of abating it, 
three pieces of ordnance duly loaded, with a gunner and ready- 
lighted match, were stationed day and night upon the quay, and 
pointed directly at his Majesty s drawing-room, so that one salvo 
would have despatched the Most Christian King and all his 
august family to the genuine Champs Elysees. This was carry- 
ing the jest rather too far, and every rational man in Paris was 
shaking his sides at so shallow a manoeuvre, when a new object 
of derision appeared in shape of a letter purporting to be written 
by King Louis, expressing his wish that he was young and active 
enough (who would doubt his wish to grow young again ?) to put 
himself at the head of his own army, attack his puissant allies, 
and cut them all to pieces for their duplicity to his loving and 
beloved subjects. 

A copy of this letter was given me by a colonel of the 
National Guards, who said that it was circulated by the highest 
authority. 

Lettre du Roi au Prince Talleyrand. 

Du 22 Juillet 1815. 

" La conduite des armees alliees reduira bientot mon peuple 
a s'armer contre elles, comme on a fait en Espagne. 

" Plus jeune, je me mettrais a sa tete ; mais, si lage et mes 
infirmites m'en empechent, je ne veux pas, au moins, paroitre 
conniver a des mesures dont je gemis ! je suis resolu, si je ne puis 
les adoucir, a demander asile au roi d'Espagne. 

" Que ceux qui, meme apres la capture de l'homme a qui ils 
ont declare la guerre, continuent a traiter mon peuple en ennemi, 
et doivent par consequent me regarder comme tel, attentent s'ils 



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barrington's personal sketches 



le veulent a ma liberte ! ils en sont les maitres ! j'aime mieux 
vivre dans ma prison que de rester iei, temoin, passif des plenrs 
de mes enfans." 

But — to close the scene of his Majesty's gallantry, and 
anxiety to preserve the capitulation entire. After he had 
permitted the plunder of the Louvre, a report was circulated 
that Blucher had determined to send all considerations of the 
treaty to the d — , and with his soldiers to blow up the Pont de 
Jena, as the existence of a bridge so named was an insult to the 
victorious Prussians ! This was, it must be admitted, suffi- 
ciently in character with Blucher. But some people were so 
fastidious as to assert that it was in fact only a clap-trap on 
behalf of his Most Christian Majesty ; and true it was, that next 
day copies of a very dignified and gallant letter from Louis 
XVIII. were circulated extensively throughout Paris. The 
purport of this royal epistle was not remonstrance — that would 
have been merely considered as matter of course ; it demanded 
that Marshal Blucher should inform his Majesty of the precise 
moment the bridge was to be so blown up, as his Majesty 
(having no power of resistance) was determined to go in person, 
stand upon the bridge at the time of the explosion, and mount 
into the air amidst the stones and mortar of his beautiful piece 
of architecture ! No doubt it would have been a sublime 
termination of so sine cura a reign ; and would have done more 
to immortalise the Bourbon dynasty than anything they seem at 
present likely to accomplish. 

However, Blucher frustrated that gallant achievement, as 
he did many others ; and declared in reply that he would not 
singe a hair of his Majesty's head for the pleasure of blowing up 
a hundred bridges. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



165 



THE CATACOMBS AND PERE LA CHAISE. 

The stupendous catacombs of Paris form perhaps the greatest 
curiosity of that capital. I have seen many well -written 
descriptions of this magazine of human fragments, yet on 
actually visiting it, my sensations of awe, and, I may add, of 
disgust, exceeded my anticipation. 

I found myself, after descending to a considerable deptli 
from the light of day, among winding vaults, where, ranged on 
every side, are the trophies of Death's universal conquest. 
Myriads of grim, fleshless, grinning visages, seem (even through 
their eyeless sockets) to stare at the passing mortals who have 
succeeded them, and ready with long knotted fingers to grasp 
the living into their own society. On turning away from these 
hideous objects, my sight was arrested by innumerable white 
scalpless skulls and mouldering limbs of disjointed skeletons — 
mingled and misplaced in terrific pyramids ; or, as if in mockery 
of nature, framed into mosaics, and piled into walls and 
barriers ! 

There are men of nerve strong enough to endure the con- 
templation of such things without shrinking. I participate not 
in this apathetic mood. Almost at the first step which I took 
between these ghastly ranks in the deep catacomb d'Enfer 
(whereinto I had plunged by a descent of ninety steps), my spirit 
no longer remained buoyant : it felt subdued and cowed j my 
feet reluctantly advanced through the gloomy mazes ; and at 
length a universal thrill of horror crawled along the surface of 
my flesh It would have been to little purpose to protract this 
struggle, and force my will to obedience : I therefore, instinc- 
tively as it were, made a retrograde movement ; I ascended into 
the world again, and left my less sensitive and wiser friends to 



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explore at leisure those dreary regions. And never did the sun 
appear to me more bright, never did I feel his rays more cheer- 
ing and genial, than as I emerged from the melancholy cata- 
combs into the open air. 

The visitor of Paris will find it both curious and interesting 
to contrast with these another receptacle for the dead — the 
cemetery of Pere la Chaise. It is strange that there should 
exist amongst the same people, in the same city, and almost in 
the same vicinity, two Golgothas in their nature so utterly dis- 
similar and repugnant to each other. 

The soft and beautiful features of landscape which cha- 
racterise Pere la Chaise are scarcely describable ; so harmoni- 
ously are they blended together, so sacred does the spot appear 
to quiet contemplation and hopeful repose, that it seems almost 
profanation to attempt to submit its charms in detail before the 
reader's eye. All in fact that I had .^ver read about it fell, as 
in the case of the catacombs — (" alike, but ah, how different !") — 
far short of the reality. 

I have wandered whole mornings together over its winding 
paths and venerable avenues. Here are no " ninety steps" of 
descent to gloom and horror ; on the contrary, a gradual ascent 
leads to the cemetery of Pere la Chaise, and to its enchanting 
summit, on every side shaded by brilliant evergreens. The 
straight lofty cypress and spreading cedar uplift themselves 
around, and the arbutus exposing all its treasure of deceptive 
berries. In lieu of the damp mouldering scent exhaled by 
three millions of human skeletons, we are presented with the 
fragrant perfume of jessamines and of myrtles, of violet-beds or 
variegated flower-plats decked out by the ministering hand of 
love or duty, as if benignant nature had spread her most 
splendid carpet to cover, conceal, and render alluring, even the 
abode of death. 

"Whichever way we turn, the labours of art combine with 
the luxuriance of vegetation to raise in the mind new reflec- 
tions. Marble, in all its varieties of shade and grain, is wrought 
by the hand of man into numerous bewitching shapes ; whilst 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



167 



one of the most brilliant and cheerful cities in the universe 
seems to lie, with its wooded boulevards, gilded domes, palaces, 
gardens, and glittering waters, just beneath our feet. One 
sepulchre, alone, of a decidedly mournful character, attracted 
my notice — a large and solid mausoleum, buried amidst gloomy 
yews and low-drooping willows ; and this looked only like a 
patch on the face of loveliness. Pere la Chaise presents a soli- 
tary instance of the abode of the dead ever interesting me in an 
agreeable way. 

I will not remark on the well-known tomb of Abelard and 
Eloisa : a hundred pens have anticipated me in most of the 
observations I should be inclined to make respecting that cele- 
brated couple. The most obvious circumstance in their " sad 
story " always struck me as being, that he turned priest when 
he was good for nothing else, and she became " quite correct " 
when opportunities for the reverse began to slacken. They no 
doubt were properly qualified to make very respectable saints ; 
but since they took care previously to have their fling, I cannot 
say much for their morality. 

I am not sure that a burial-place similar to Pere la Chaise 
would be admired in England ; it is almost of too picturesque 
and sentimental a character. The humbler orders of the 
English people are too coarse to appreciate the peculiar feeling 
such a cemetery is calculated to excite — the higher orders too 
licentious, the trading classes too avaricious. The plum-holder of 
the city would very honestly and frankly " d — n all your non- 
sensical sentiment ! " I heard one of these gentlemen, last 
year, declare that what poets and such-like called sentiment was 
neither more nor less than deadly poison to the Protestant 
rel igion ! 



168 



bakrington's personal sketches 



PEDIGKEE-HUNTING. 

My visit to France enabled me, besides gratifying myself by the 
sight and observation of the distinguished characters of whom I 
have, in the sketches immediately foregoing, made mention, to 
pursue an inquiry that I had set on foot some time previously 
in my own country. 

As I have already informed the reader in the commence- 
ment of this work, I was brought up among a sort of democratic 
aristocracy, which, like the race of wolf-dogs, seems to be 
extinct in Ireland. The gentry of those days took the greatest 
care to trace, and to preserve by tradition, the pedigree of their 
families and the exploits of their ancestors. 

It is said that " he must be a wise man who knows his oivn 
father ;" but if there are thirty or forty of one's forefathers to 
make out, it must necessarily be a research rather difficult for 
ordinary capacities. Such are therefore in the habit of resorting 
to a person who obtains his livelihood by begetting grandfathers 
and great-grandfathers ad infinitum ; — namely, the herald who, 
without much tedious research, can, in these commercial days, 
furnish any private gentleman, dealer, or chapman, with as 
beautifully transcribed, painted, and gilt a pedigree as he chooses 
to be at the expense of purchasing — with arms, crests, and 
mottoes to match ; nor are there among the nobility themselves 
emblazonments more gaudy than may occasionally be seen upon 
the tilbury of some retired tailor, whose name was probably 
selected at random by the nurse of a foundling hospital. 

But as there is, I believe, no great mob of persons bearing 
my name in existence, and as it is pretty well known to be 
rather old, I fancied I would pay a visit to our Irish herald-at- 
arms, to find out, if possible, from what country I originally 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



169 



sprang. After having consulted everything he had to consult, 
this worthy functionary only brought me back to Queen Eliza- 
beth, which was doing nothing, as it was that virgin monarch 
who had made the first territorial grant to my family in Ireland, 
with liberty to return two members to every future parliament, 
which they actually did down to my father's time. 

The Irish herald most honourably assured me that he could 
not cany me one inch farther, and so (having painted a most 
beautiful pedigree) he recommended me to the English herald- 
at-arms, who, he had no doubt, could take up the thread, and 
unravel it to my satisfaction. 

I accordingly took the first opportunity of consulting this 
fresh oracle, whose minister having politely heard my case, 
transferred it to writing — screwed up his lips — and looked 
steadfastly at the ceiling for some five minutes ; he then began 
to reckon centuries on his fingers, took down several large books 
full of emblazonments, nodded his head, and at last, cleverly and 
scientifically taking me up from the times of Queen Elizabeth, 
where I had been abruptly dropped by my fellow-countryman, 
delivered me, in less than a fortnight, as handsome a genea- 
logical tree as could be reasonably desired ; on this I trium- 
phantly ascended to the reign of AVilliam the Conqueror, and the 
battle of Hastings, at which some of my ancestors were, it 
appears, fairly sped, and provided with neat lodgings in Battle 
Abbey, where, for ought I know to the contrary, they still 
remain. 

The English herald-at-arms also informed me (but rather 
mysteriously) that it was probable I had a right to put a French 
Be at the beginning of my name, as there was a Norman ton at 
the end of it ; but that as he did not profess French heraldry, I 
had better inquire further from some of the craft in Normandy, 
where that science had at the period of the crusades greatly 
flourished — William the Conqueror, at the time he was de- 
nominated The Bastard, having by all accounts established a very 
celebrated heraldic college at Rouen. 

I was much pleased with his candour, and thus the matter 



170 



barrington's personal sketches 



rested until Louis XVIII. returned home with his family, when, 
as the reader is aware, I likewise passed over to France with 
mine. 

I did not forget the hint given me by my armorial friend in 
London ; and in order to benefit by it, repaired, as soon as cir- 
cumstances permitted, to Eouen, in which town we had been 
advised to place our two youngest daughters, for purposes of 
education, at a celebrated Ursuline convent, the abbess whereof 
was considered a more tolerating religieuse than any of her con- 
temporaries. Before I proceed to detail the sequel of my heraldic 
investigations, I will lay before the reader one or two anecdotes 
connected with French nunneries. 

The abbess of the convent in question, Madame Cousin, was 
a fine, handsome old nun, as affable and insinuating as possible, 
and gained on us at first sight. She enlarged on the great 
advantages of her system ; and showed us long galleries of 
beautiful little bedchambers, together with gardens overlooking 
the boulevards and adorned by that interesting tower wherein 
Jeanne d'Arc was so long confined previously to her martyrdom. 
Her table, Madame Cousin assured us, was excellent and 
abundant. 

I was naturally impressed with an idea that a nun feared 
God at any rate too much to tell twenty direct falsehoods and 
practise twenty deceptions in the course of half-an-hour, for the 
lucre of fifty Napoleons, which she required in advance, without 
the least intention of giving the value of five for them ; and, 
under this impression, I paid down the sum demanded, gave up 
our two children to Madame Cousin's motherly tutelage, and re- 
turned to the Hotel de France almost in love with the old 
abbess. 

On our return to Paris, we received letters from my daughters, 
giving a most flattering account of the convent generally, of the 
excellence of Madame l'Abbesse, the plenty of good food, the 
comfort of the bed-rooms, and the extraordinary progress they 
were making in their several acquirements. I was hence induced 
to commence the second half-year, also in advance ; when a son- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



171 



in-law of mine, calling to see my daughters, requested the eldest 
to dine with him at his hotel, which request was long resisted 
by the abbess, and only granted at length with manifest re- 
luctance. When arrived at the hotel, the poor girl related a 
tale of a very different description from the foregoing, and as 
piteous as unexpected. Her letters had been dictated to her by 
a priest. I had scarcely arrived at Paris, when my children were 
separated, turned away from the show bedrooms, and allowed to 
speak any language to each other only one hour a-day, and not a 
word on Sundays. The eldest was urged to turn Catholic ; and, 
above all, they were fed in a manner at once so scanty and so 
bad, that my daughter begged hard not to be taken back, but to 
accompany her brother-in-law to Paris. This was conceded ; 
and when the poor child arrived, I saw the necessity of imme- 
diately recalling her sister. I was indeed shocked at seeing her 
— so wan and thin, and greedy did she appear. 

On our first inquiry for the convent above alluded to, we 
were directed by mistake to another establishment belonging to 
the saint of the same name, but bearing a very inferior appear- 
ance, and superintended by an abbess whose toleration certainly 
erred not on the side of laxity. We saw an old lady within her 
grated lattice. She would not come out to us ; but, on being 
told our business, smiled as cheerfully as fanaticism would let 
her. (I dare say the expected pension already jingled in her 
glowing fancy.) Our terms were soon concluded, and every 
thing was arranged, when Lady Barrington, as a final direction, 
requested that the children should not be called too early in the 
morning, as they were unused to it. The old abbess started : a 
gloomy doubt seemed to gather on her furrowed temples ; her 
nostrils distended ; — and she abruptly asked, " Netes-vous pas 
Catholiqucs?" 

" Non" replied Lady Barrington, " nous sommes Protestans." 

The countenance of the abbess now utterly fell, and she 
shrieked out, "Mon Dieu ! alors wus dies heretiques! Je ne 
per mets jamais d' her etique dans ce convent! — allez ! — allez! — vos 
enfans nentreront jamais dans le couvent des Ursulines ! — allez ! — 



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allez r and instantly crossing herself, and muttering, she with- 
drew from the grate. 

Just as we were turned out, we encountered, near the gate, a 
very odd, though respectable-looking, figure. It was that of a 
man whose stature must originally have exceeded six feet, and 
who was yet erect, and, but for the natural shrinking of age, 
retained his full height and manly presence : his limbs still bore 
him gallantly, and the frosts of eighty winters had not yet 
chilled his warmth of manner. His dress was neither neat nor 
shabby ; it was of silk — of the old costume. His thin hair was 
loosely tied behind, and on the whole he appeared to be what 
we call above the world. 

This gentleman saw we were at a loss about something or 
other, and, with the constitutional politeness of a Frenchman of 
the old school, at once begged us to mention our embarrassment, 
and command his services. Everybody, he told us, knew him, 
and he knew everybody at Eouen. We accepted his offer, and 
he immediately constituted himself cicisbeo to the ladies and 
Mentor to me. After having led us to the other Convent des 
Ursulines, of which I have spoken, he dined with us, and I con- 
ceived a great respect for the old gentleman. It was Monsieur 
Helliot, once a celebrated avocat of the parliament at Eouen. 
His good manners and good nature rendered his society a real 
treat to us, whilst his memory, information, and activity were 
almost wonderful. He was an improvisore poet, and could con- 
verse in rhyme and sing a hundred songs of his own composing. 

On my informing M. Helliot that one of my principal objects 
at Eouen was a research in heraldry, he said he would next day 
introduce me to the person of all others most likely to satisfy 
me on that point. His friend was, he told me, of a noble 
family, and had originally studied heraldry for his amusement, 
but was subsequently necessitated to practise it for pocket- 
money, since his regular income was barely sufficient (as was 
then the average with the old nobility of Normandy) to provide 
him soup in plenty, a room and a bed-recess, a weekly laundress, 
and a repairing tailor. "Eouen," continued the old advocate, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



173 



" requires no heralds now ! The nobles are not even able to 
emblazon their pedigrees, and the manufacturers purchase arms 
and crests from the Paris heralds, who have always a variety of 
magnificent ones to disjjose of suitable to their new customers." 

M. Helliot had a country-house about four miles from Eouen, 
near the Commandery, which is on the Seine — a beautiful wild 
spot, formerly the property of the Knights of St. John of Jeru- 
salem. Helliot' s house had a large garden, ornamented by liis own 
hands. He one day came to us to beg we would fix a morning 
for taking a dejeuner d la fourelu ttc at his cottage, and brought 
with him a long bill of fare, containing nearly everything in the 
eating and drinking way that could be procured at Eouen, 
whereon he requested we would mark with a pencil our favourite 
dishes ! He said this was always their ancient mode when they 
had the honour of a societe distingue, and we were obliged to 
humour him. He was delighted ; and then assuming a more 
serious air — "But," said he, "I have a very particular reason for 
inviting you to my cottage — it is to have the honour of intro- 
ducing you to a lady who, old as I am, has consented to marry 
me the ensuing spring. I know," added he, "that I shall be 
happier in her society than in that of any other person ; and, at 
my time of life, we want somebody interested in rendering our 
limited existence as comfortable as possible." 

This seemed ludicrous enough, and the ladies' curiosity was 
excited to see old Helliot's sweetheart. "VVe were accordingly 
punctual to our hour. He had a boat ready to take us across 
the Seine near the Commandery, and we soon entered a beauti- 
ful garden, in a high state of order. In the house (a small and 
very old one) we found a most excellent repast. The only com- 
pany besides ourselves was the old herald to whom M. Helliot 
had introduced me ; and, after a few minutes, he led from an 
inner chamber his intended bride. She appeared, in point of 
years, at least as venerable as the bridegroom ; but a droop in 
the person and a waddle in the gait bespoke a constitution much 
more enfeebled than that of the gallant who was to lead her to 
the altar. " This," said the advocate, as he presented her to the 



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company, " is Madame . . . ; but n'importe ! after our repast 
you shall learn her name and history. Pray, Madame," pursued 
he, with an air of infinite politeness, " have the goodness to do 
the honours of the table and his request was complied with 
as nimbly as his inamorata's quivering hands would permit. 

The wine went round merrily. The old lady declined not 
her glass, the herald took enough to serve him for the two or 
three following days, old Helliot hobnobbed a la mode Anglaise, 
and in half-an-hour we were as cheerful, and, I should think, as 
curious a breakfast party as Upper Normandy had ever produced. 

When the repast was ended, " Now," said our host, " you 
shall learn the history of this venerable bride that is to be on or 
about the 15th of April next. You know," continued he, " that 
between the age of seventy and death the distance is seldom 
very great, and that a person of your nation who arrives at the 
one is generally fool enough to be always gazing at the other. 
Now we Frenchmen like, if possible, to evade the prospect ; and, 
with that object, we contrive some new event, which, if it cannot 
conceal, may at least take off our attention from it ; and, of all 
things in the world, I believe matrimony will be admitted to be 
most effectual either in fixing an epoch or directing a current of 
thought. We antiquated gentry here, therefore, have a little 
law, or rather custom, of our own — namely, that after a man has 
been in a state of matrimony for fifty years, if his charmer sur- 
vives, they undergo the ceremony of a second marriage, and so 
begin a new contract for another half-century, if their joint lives 
so long continue ! and inasmuch as Madame Helliot (introducing 
the old lady anew, kissing her cheek and chucking her under the 
chin) has been now forty-nine years and four months on her 
road to a second husband, the day that fifty years are com- 
pleted we shall recommence our honeymoon, and every friend 
we have will, I hope, come and see the happy reunion. " Ah !" 
said Madame, " I fear my bride' s-maid, Mad.ame Veuve Gerard, 
can't hold out so long ! Mais, Dieu merci !" cried she, " I think 
I shall myself, Monsieur (addressing me), be well enough to get 
through the ceremony." 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



175 



I wish I could end this little episode as my heart would dic- 
tate. But, alas ! a cold caught by my friend the advocate boating 
on the Seine before the happy month arrived, prevented a cere- 
mony which I would have gone almost any distance to witness. 
Sic transit gloria mundi /" 

But to my heraldic investigation. — The old professor with 
whom M. Helliot had made me acquainted had been one of the 
ancienne noblesse, and carried in his look and deportment evident 
marks of the rank from which he had been compelled to descend. 
Although younger than the advocate, he was still somewhat 
stricken in years. His hair, thin and highly powdered, afforded 
a queue longer than a quill and nearly as bulky. A tight plaited 
stock and solitaire, a tucker and ruffles, and a cross with the 
order of St. Louis ; a well-cleaned black suit, which had sur- 
vived many a cuff and cape, and seen many a year of full-dress 
service, silk stockings, paste knee and large silver shoe-buckles, 
completed his toilet. 

He said, on my first visit, in a desponding voice, that he 
deeply regretted the republicans had burned most of his books 
and records during the Revolution ; and having consequently 
little or nothing left of remote times to refer to, he really could 
not recollect my ancestors, though they might perhaps have been 
a very superbe famille. On exhibiting, however, my English and 
Irish pedigrees (drawn out on vellum, beautifully ornamented, 
painted, and gilt, with the chevalier's casquet, three scarlet 
chevanels and a Saracen's head), and touching his withered hand 
with the metallic tractors, the old herald's eyes assumed almost 
a youthful fire ; even his voice seemed to change ; and having 
put the four dollars into his breeches-pocket, buttoned the flap, 
and then felt at the outside to make sure of their safety, he drew 
himself up with pride : — 

" Between this city and Havre de Grace," said he, after a 
pause, and having traced with his bony fingers the best gilded of 
the pedigrees, " lies a town called Barentin, and there once stood 
the superb chateau of an old warrior, Drogo de Barentin. At 
this town, Monsieur, you will assuredly obtain some account of 



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your noble family." After some conversation about William the 
Conqueror, Duke Bollo, Eichard Coeur de Leon, etc., I took my 
leave, determining to start with all convenient speed towards 
Havre de Grace. 

On the road to that place I found the town designated by 
the herald, and having refreshed myself at an auberge, set out to 
discover the ruins of the castle, which lie not very far distant. 
Of these, however, I could make nothing ; and, on returning to 
the auberge, I found mine host decked out in his best jacket 
and a huge opera-hat. Having made this worthy acquainted with 
the object of my researches, be told me with a smiling counte- 
nance that there was a very old beggar-man extant in the place, 
who was the depositary of all the circumstances of its ancient 
history, including that of the former lords of the castle. Seeing 
I had no chance of better information, I ordered my dinner to be 
prepared in the first instance, and the mendicant to be served up 
with the dessert. 

The figure which presented itself really struck me. His age 
was said to exceed a hundred years. His beard and hair were 
white, whilst the ruddiness of youth still mantled in his cheeks. 
I don't know how it was, but my heart and purse opened in 
unison, and I gratified the old beggar-man with a sum which I 
believe he had not often seen before at one time. I then directed 
a glass of eau-de-vie to be given him, and this he relished even 
more than the money. He then launched into such an eulogium 
on the noble race of Drogo of the Chateau, that I thought he 
never would come to the point ; and when he did I received but 
little satisfaction from his communications, which he concluded 
by advising me to make a voyage to the island of Jersey. " I 
knew," said he, " in my youth, a man much older than I am now, 
and who, like me, lived upon alms. This man was the final 
descendant of the Barentin family, being an illegitimate son of 
the last lord ; and he has often told me that on that island his 
father had been murdered ; who having made no will, his son 
was left to beg, while the king got all, and bestowed it on some 
young lady." 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



177 



This whetted my appetite for further intelligence, and I 
resolved, having fairly engaged in it, to follow up the inquiry. 
Accordingly, in the spring of 1816, leaving my family in Paris, 
I set out for St. Maloes, thence to Granville, and, after a most 
interesting journey through Brittany, crossed over in a fishing- 
boat, and soon found myself in the square of St. Hillier's, at 
Jersey. I had been there before on a visit to General Don, 
with General Moore and Colonel le Blanc, and knew the place ; 
but this time I went incog. 

On my first visit to Jersey, I had been much struck with 
the fine situation and commanding aspect of the magnificent 
castle of Mont Orgueil, and had much pleasure in anticipating 
a fresh survey of it. But guess the gratified nature of my 
emotions when I learned from an old warder of the castle that 
Drogo de Barentin, a Norman chieftain, had been, in fact, its 
last governor 1 — that his name w r as on its records, and that he 
had lost his life in its defence on the outer ramparts. He left 
no lawful male offspring, and thus the Norman branch of the 
family had become extinct. 

This I considered as making good progress ; and I returned 
cheerfully to Barentin, to thank my mendicant and his patron 
the aubcrgiste, intending to prosecute the inquiry further at 
Rouen. I will not hazard fatiguing the reader by detailing the 
result of any more of my investigations ; but it is curious 
enough that at Ivetot, about four leagues from Barentin (to an 
ancient chateau, near which place I had been directed by mine 
host), I met with, amongst a parcel of scattered furniture col- 
lected for public sale, the portrait of an old Norman warrior, 
which exactly resembled those of my great-grandfather, Colonel 
Barrington of Cullenaghmore ; but for the difference of scanty 
black hair in one case, and a wig in the other, the heads and 
countenances would have been quite un distinguishable ! I 
marked this picture with my initials, and left a request with 
the innkeeper at Ivetot to purchase it for me at any price ; but 
having unluckily omitted to leave him money likewise to pay 
for it, the man, as it afterwards appeared, thought no more of 

VOL. II. N 



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barrington's personal sketches 



the matter. So great was my disappointment, that I advertised 
for this portrait : but in vain. 

I will now bid the reader farewell — at least for the present. 
This last sketch may by some, perhaps, be considered super- 
fluous ; but as a pardonable vanity in those who write any- 
thing in the shape of autobiography, and a spirit of curiosity in 
those who peruse such works, generally dictate and require as 
much information respecting the author's genealogy as can be 
adduced with any show of plausibility, I hope I shall be held 
to have done my utmost in this particular, and I am satisfied. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



179 



PEEPLEXITIES OF A BAEONET. 

The concluding volume of my Biographical Sketches with the 
recital of a laborious search after my progenitors, savours some- 
what of our national perversions. But those who know the 
way in which things are done in Ireland, will only call it a 
" doughan dourish," or " parting drop," which was usually 
administered when a man was not very sure which end of him 
was uppermost. 

The English, in general, though not very exquisite philolo- 
gists, and denominated " Bulls " in every known part of the 
world, have yet a great aversion to be considered "blunderers ;" 
an honour which their own misprisions of speech fall short of 
owing to the absence of point in their humour (as they call it). 

When an English dramatist wants a good blunder, he must 
send to Ireland for it. A few English blunders would damn 
the best play ; and I have known some pieces actually saved 
by a profusion of Irish ones. As to my misplacing my pedigree, 
I can only say, that though an English writer, speaking of his 
origin, would say he was born and bred at London, etc. etc., an 
Irishman always places his acquirements before his birth, and 
says he was bred and born at Drogheda, etc. My mistake is 
not quite so bad as this ; and I shall endeavour to recompense 
my readers for having made it, by transporting them to the 
city of Dublin, where, so long as a thing has fun in it, we set 
all cold-blooded critico-cynicals at defiance, and where we never 
have a lack of families and of good pedigrees — at least for home 
consumption. 

The sketch which I thus introduce has certainly nothing 
whatever in it connected with myself. However, it is so far in 
point, that it proves how very differently gentlemen may furbish 



180 



barrlngton's personal sketches 



up families, one by traversing foreign parts to discover the old 
cavaliers, arms, and quarterings of his race, another by garnish- 
ing a new coach with new quarters, shields, and bearings, such 
as no family, ancient or modern, had ever seen or heard of 
till they appeared emblazoning the panels of an alderman's 
landau. 

In the year of our Lord 1809, after his late Majesty King 
George the Third had expended forty-nine years of his life in 
ruling the state, it pleased his royal fancy to order a universal 
jubilee, and to elevate his Lord Mayors into Imperial Baronets. 
At this propitious era, William Stammer, Esquire, Alderman of 
Dublin, and likewise of Skinners' Alley, wine-merchant, do. con- 
sumer, dealer and chapman, freemason, Orangeman, and friendly 
brother, happened, by Divine Providence and the good-will of 
the Common Council, to be seated on the civic throne as " the 
Eight Honourable the Lord Mayor of the King's good city of 
Dublin." He ruled with convivial sway the ancient, loyal, 
joyous, moist, and vociferous municipal corps of the said cele- 
brated city, and its twenty-four federated corporations, conse- 
quently he was, in point of dignity, the second Lord Mayor in 
all Christendom, though unfortunately born a few centuries too 
late to be one of its seven champions. However, being thus 
enthroned at that happy festival time, he became greater than 
any of these, and found himself, suddenly, as if by magic 
(though it was only by patent), metamorphosed into Sir William 
Stammer, Baronet of the United Kingdoms of England, Scot- 
land, and Ireland. 

Sir William Stammer, Bart., being (as he himself often 
informed me, and which I believe to be true) an excellent, 
good-hearted kind of person, and having by nature an even, 
smooth-trotting temper, with plenty of peace and quietness in 
it, bore his rank with laudable moderation ; but as he was the 
first genuine corporator the Union had honoured by this imperial 
dignity, he felt a sort of loyal fervour, which urged him to make 
some particular acknowledgment to his gracious Majesty for so 
unprecedented a mark of distinction. But in what way a sober 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



181 



British king should be complimented by an Irish wine-merchant 
was a matter which required much ingenuity and profound 
consideration. At length it was suggested and strongly urged 
by several of his civic friends (especially those of the feminine 
gender) that his Lordship had it actually within his power to 
pay as loyal and handsome a compliment as ever was paid to 
any king of England by an Irish gentleman with a twang to 
his surname ; videlicet, by sacrificing the old Irish pronuncia- 
tion thereof, ameliorating the sound, and changing it in such 
sort that it might be adapted to the court language, and uttered 
without any difficulty or grimace by the prettiest mouths of the 
highest classes of British society ; it was, in fact, strenuously 
argued that, instead of the old hackneyed family name commonly 
pronounced Stam-mer, the word Stecm-er (being better vowelled 
and Anglicised) would sound far more genteel and modern, 
and ring more gratefully in the ear of royalty. It was also 
urged, how Mrs. Clarke's friend, the Rev. Dr. O'Meara, unfortu- 
nately lost the honour of preaching before royalty by his perti- 
nacity in retaining the abominable 0, and that had he dropped 
that hideous prefixture, and been announced plainly as the Rev. 
Doctor Meera, his doctrines might probably have atoned for his 
Milesianality, and a stall in some cathedral, or at least a rural 
deanery, might have rewarded his powers of declamation. 

" Having begun so well, who knows what famous end you 
may arrive at, Sir William \" said Sir Jemmy Riddle, the then 
high-sheriff, a very good man too, who was be-knighted on 
the same occasion. " When we all go to St. James's," continued 
Sir Jemmy, " to thank our sovereign and kiss his hand in his 
own mctrolopus, sure the name of our Lord Mayor, Sir W. 
Steemer, will sound every taste as harmonious, if not harmo- 
uiouscr, than that of the great Sir Claudius Hunter, or our own 
Claudius Beresford, or any Claudius in Europe ! — and sure, 
changing am for ee, to please his Majesty, is neither a sin nor a 
shame in any family, were they as old as Mathusliu : — besides, 
old White, the schoolmaster, the greatest scholar, by odds, that 
ever was in Dublin, told me that one vowel was worth two con- 



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sonants any day in the year ; and that the alteration would 
make a great difference in the sweetness of the odes he was 
writing on your promotion." 

Sir William, however, being fond of the old proper name 
which had stuck to him through thick and thin, in all weathers, 
and which he and his blood-relations had been so long accus- 
tomed to spell, did not at all relish the proposed innovation. 
Besides, he considered that anything like the assumption of a 
new name might bring him too much on a level with some 
modem corporators, who, not having any particular cognomen of 
their own at the time of their nativity, or at least not being- 
able to discover it, but being well christened for fear of acci- 
dents, very judiciously took only provisional denominations for 
their apprenticeship indentures, and postponed the adoption 
of any immutable surname until they had considered what 
might probably be most attractive to customers in their several 
trades. 

The grand measure was nevertheless so strongly pressed — the 
ladies so coaxed the alderman to take the pretty name, and they 
were so well supported by Sir Charles Vernon, then master of the 
ceremonies (and, of course, the best judge in Ireland of what was 
good for Sir William at the Castle of Dublin), that his resolution 
gradually softened, wavered, and gave way. He became con- 
vinced against his will, and at last, with a deep sigh and a 
couple of imprecations, ungratefully yielded up his old, broad, 
national Stammer, to adopt an Anglicised mincemeat version 
thereof ; and in a few nights, Sir William Steemers landau was 
announced as stopping the way at the breaking up of the Duchess 
of Bichmond's drawing-room. 

'Tis true, some very cogent and plausible reasons were sug- 
gested to Sir William, pending the negotiation, by a lady of 
excellent judgment, and what was termed in Dublin " masculine 
understanding." This lady had great weight with his lordship. 
" You know, my Lord Mayor," said she, sententiously, " you are 
now nine or ten pegs (at the lowest computation) higher than 
you were as a common alderman, and a pronunciation that might 



OF HIS WN TIMES. 



183 



sound quite in unison with f sheriff's peer,' would be mere discord 
in the politer mouths of your new equals." 

" Ah ! what would Jekey Poole say to all this, if he were 
alive ?" thought Sir William, but was silent. 

" Consider, also," — pursued the lady, — u consider that Stam- 
mer is a very common kind of word ; nay, it is a mere verb of 
Dutch extraction (as that great man Doctor Johnson says), which 
signifies stuttering ; and to articulate which, there is a graceless 
double chopping of the under jaw — as if a person was taking a 
bite out of something : — try now, try, Stammer — Stammer ! " 

" Egad, it's — it's very true," said Sir William, " I — I never 
remarked that before." 

" But," resumed the lady with the masculine understanding, 
"the word Steemer, on the contrary, has a soft, bland, liquid 
sound, perfectly adapted to genteel table-talk. To pronounce 
Steemer, you will perceive, Sir William, there is a slight ten- 
dency to a lisp : the tip of the tongue presses gently against the 
upper gums, and a nice extension of the lips, approaching toward 
a smile, gives an agreeable sensation, as well as a polite com- 
placency of countenance to the addresser.— Xow, try !" 

Sir William lisped and capitulated, on express condition — 
first, that the old County Clare tone of Stammer, in its natural 
length and breadth, should be preserved when the name was 
used by or to the Corporation of Dublin." 

" Granted," said the lady with the masculine understanding. 

" Secondly, amongst the aldermen of Skinners' Alley." 

" Granted." 

" Thirdly, in the Court of Conscience." 
" Granted." 

" Fourthly, in my own counting-house." 

" Granted — according to the rank of the visitor." 

" Fifthly, as to all my country acquaintance." 

" Granted, with the exception of such as hold any offices, or 
get into good company." 

The articles were arranged, and the treaty took effect that 
very evening. 



184 



barrington's personal sketches 



Sir William, no doubt, acquired one distinction hereby, which 
he never foresaw. Several other aldermen of Dublin city have 
been since converted into baronets of the United Kingdom, but 
not one of them has been able to alter a single syllable in his 
name, or to make it sound even a semitone more genteel than 
when it belonged to a common-place alderman. There was no 
lack of jesting, however, on those occasions. A city punster, I 
think it was a gentleman called, by the Common Council, Gobbio, 
waggishly said, " That the Corporation of Dublin must be a set 
of incorrigible Tories, inasmuch as they never have a feast with- 
out King James* being placed at the head of their table." 

It is said that this joke was first cracked at the Castle of 
Dublin by a gentleman of the long robe, and that Mr. Gobbio 
gave one of the footmen (who attended and took notes) half-a- 
guinea for it. Though a digression, I cannot avoid observing 
that I hear, from good authority, there are yet some few wits 
surviving in Dublin ; and it is whispered that the butlers and 
footmen in genteel families (vails having been mostly abolished 
since the Union) pick up, by way of substitute, much ready 
money by taking notes of the "good things" they hear said by 
the lawyers at their masters' dinner-parties, and selling them to 
aldermen, candidates for the sheriffry, and city humourists, 
wherewith to embellish their conversation and occasionally their 
speeches. Puns are said to sell the best, they being more handy 
to a corporator, who has no great vocabulary of his own. Puns 
are of easy comprehension ; one word brings on another, and 
answers for two meanings, like killing two birds with one stone, 
and they seem much more natural to the memory of a common 
councilman than wit or anything classical — which Alderman 
Jekey Poole used to swear was only the d — d garbage (gibberish) 
of schoolmasters. 

* Two Dublin aldermen, lately made baronets ; one by his Majesty on his 
landing in Ireland (Alderman King) ; and the other by the Marquess of Wellesley 
on his debarkation (Alderman James), being the first public functionary he met. 
The Marquess would fain have knighted him ; but, being taken by surprise, he con- 
ferred the same honour which Aldermen Stammerand King had previously received. 

There are now four baronets amongst that hard-going corporation. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



185 



Had the Jubilee concern ended here, all would have been 
smooth and square ; — but, as events in families seldom come 
alone, Providence had decreed a still more severe trial for Sir 
William Steemcr — because one or a more important character, 
and requiring a more prompt as well as expensive decision. 

Soon after the luxurious celebration of the J ubilee through- 
out the three united kingdoms (except among such of the Irish 
as happened to have nothing in their houses to eat or drink, let 
their loyalty be ever so greedy), I chanced to call at the Man- 
sion House on official business ; and Sir William, always hospit- 
able and good-natured, insisted on my staying to taste (in a 
family way) some " glorious turtle " he had just got over from the 
London Tavern, and a bottle of what he called " old Lafitte with 
the red nightcap," which, he said, he had been long preserving 
wherewith to suckle his Excellency the Duke of Richmond. 

I accepted his invitation : we had most excellent cheer, and 
were busily employed in praising the vintage of 1790, when a 
sealed packet, like a government despatch, was brought in by 
the baronet's old porter. We all thought it was something of 
consequence, when Sir William impatiently breaking the seal, 
out started a very beautiful painting on parchment or vellum, 
gilded and garnished with ultramarine, carmine, lapis calimina- 
ris, and all the most costly colours. 

** Heyday ! " said Sir William, staring ; " what the deuce 
have we here? Hollo ! Christopher — Kit — I say Kit — who — 
who — or where the devil did this come from?" 

" By my sowl, my lord," replied Christopher, " I dunnough 
who that same man was that fetched it ; but he was neat an' 
clean, and had good apparel on his body, though it was not a 
livery like mine, my lord." 

"Did — did — he say nothing, Kit?" said Sir William, sur- 
prised. 

" Oh yes, plenty my lord ; he desired me on my peril to give 
the thing safe and sound to your lordship's own self. He swore 
like any trooper, that it was as good as a ten thousand pound 
bank of Ireland note in your pocket any how, So I curdled up 



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at that word, my lord ; I towld him plain and plump he need 
not talk about peril to me ; that I was nothing else but an 
honest sarvant ; and if the said thing was worth fifty pounds in 
ready money it would be as safe as a diamond stone with me, 
my lord." 

" And was that all, Christopher ?" said Sir William. 

" Oh no, my lord," replied Kit, " the man grinned at me all 
as one as a monkey, and said that, maybe, I'd be a master my- 
self one of these days. ' By my sowl, maybe so, sir,' says I ; 
' many a worse man arrived at being an attorney since I came 
into service ; ' and at the word, my lord, the said man held his 
hand quite natural, as if he'd fain get something into it for his 
trouble ; but the devil a cross I had in my fob, my lord, so I 
turned my fob inside out to show I was no liar, and he bowed 
very civilly and went out of the street-door, laughing that the 
whole street could hear him ; though I could swear by all the 
books in your lordship's office that he had nothing to laugh at ; 
and that's all I had act or part in it, my lord." 

Sir William now seemed a little puzzled, desired Christopher 
to be gone, and throwing the painting on the table, said, " I 
didn't want any arms or crests. I had very good ones of my 
own, and I don't understand this matter at all. My family had 
plenty of arms and crests since King William came over the 
water." 

" So have mine — a very nice lion rampant of their own, my 
lord," said her ladyship, as excellent a woman as could be : 
" I'm of the Eawins's," continued she, " and they have put me 
into your arms, Sir William : — look ! " 

" Oh that is all as it should be, my dear," said his lordship, 
who was a very tender husband. But regarding it more closely, 
her ladyship's colour, as she looked over his shoulder, mantled a 
few shades higher than its natural roseate hue, and she seemed 
obviously discontented. 

" I tell you, Sir William," said she, " it is a malicious insult ; 
and if you were out of the mayoralty, or my boy, Lovelace 
Steemer, had arrived at full maturity, I have no doubt the 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



187 



person who sent this would be made a proper example of. I 
hope you feel it, Sir William." 

" Feel ! — feel what, my love ?" said Sir William, calmly, he 
being not only a courteous, but a most peaceful citizen. " Don't 
be precipitate, my darling ! — let us see — let us see." 

" See !" said her ladyship, still more hurt ; " ay, see with your 
own eyes !" pointing to the insult ; " the fellow that painted that 
(whoever he is) has placed a pair of enormous horns just over 
your head, Sir William 1 — a gross insult, Sir William — to me, 
Sir William — indeed to both of us." 

I was much amused, and could not help observing, " that the 
horns were certainly enormous horns, to be sure ; but as the 
joke must be intended against Sir William himself — not her 
ladyship — I hope — " said I. 

" Xo, no, Sir Jonah," said the lady interrupting me. 

" I see now," said Sir William, looking at the bottom, " this 
comes from Ulster." 

" Eead on, Sir William," said I, " read on." 

" Ay, Ulster king-at-arms ; and who the deuce is Ulster king- 
at-arms?" 

" I suppose," said I, " some blood relation to the Escheator 
of Minister, and — " 

"And who — who the d — 1 is the Esclieator of Munster ?" 
said Sir William (who had never vacated a seat in the Irish 
Parliament). 

" He is of the same family as the Chiltern Hundreds," quoth L 
" Chiltern Hundreds ! Chiltern Hundreds ! By Jove, they 
must be an odd family altogether," said the Lord Mayor, still 
more puzzled, his lady sitting quite silent, being now altogether 
out of her depth, — till a small letter, to that moment overlooked, 
was taken up and read by the Lord Mayor, and was found to be 
connected with a bill furnished, .and wanting nothing but a 
receipt in full to make it perfect. The countenance of Sir 
William now became less placid. It proved to be a very proper 
and fan intimation from his Majesty's herald-at-arms, to the 
effect that, as the baronetcy originated with the Jubilee, and was 



188 



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granted in honour of King George the Third having ruled half-a- 
century, an amplification of the new baronet's heraldry by an 
additional horn, motto, ribbon, etc., was only a just tribute to 
his Majesty's longevity ! and, in truth, so properly and profes- 
sionally was the case stated, that Ulster's clear opinion may be 
inferred that every family in the empire might, in honour and 
loyalty, take a pair of horns, motto, and ribbon, as well as Sir 
William, if they thought proper so to do, and on the same terms. 

How the matter was finally arranged, I know not ; but the 
arms came out well emblazoned and duly surmounted by a more 
moderate and comely pair of horns ; and Sir William, in regular 
season, retired from office with due eclat, and in all points vastly 
bettered by his year of government. Though he retired, like 
Cincinnatus — but not to the plough — Sir William re-assumed his 
less arduous duties of committing rogues to Newgate — long corks 
to Chateau Margaux — light loaves to the four Marshalsea Courts 
— and pronouncing thirteen-penny decrees in the Court of Con- 
science : every one of which occupations he performed correctly 
and zealously, to the entire satisfaction of the nobility, clergy, 
gentry, and public at large, in the metropolis of Ireland. 

An incident appertaining to the same body, but with a ter- 
mination by no means similar, occurred a few years afterwards, 
which, among other matters, contributes to show what different 
sort of things the Irish at different times rejoice in. In 1809 
they rejoiced in full jubilee on the memorable event of his 
Majesty King George the Third having entered the fiftieth year 
of his reign, without ever paying one visit to, or taking the least 
notice of, his loyal Corporation of Dublin : and after he was 
dead (de facto, for the King never dies de jure), they celebrated 
another jubilee on account of his Majesty George the Fourth 
honouring them with a visit the very earliest opportunity. This 
was the first time any king of England had come to Ireland, 
except to cut the throats of its inhabitants ; and his present 
Majesty having most graciously crossed over to sow peace and 
tranquillity among them, if possible, and to do them any and 
every kindness which they would submt tot it was not wonder- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



189 



fill each man in Ireland hailed the event as forming a most 
auspicious commencement of his Majesty's reign, not only over 
his subjects at large, but, in particular, over that glorious, pious, 
immortal, and uproarious body, the Corporation of Dublin city. 
Events have proved how ungratefully his Majesty's beneficent 
intentions have been requited. 

His Majesty having arrived at the Hill of Howth, to the 
universal joy of the Irish people, was received with unexampled 
cordiality, and in due form, by the Eight Honourable the Lord 
Mayor, on the very field of battle where O'Brien Borun had 
formerly acquired undying fame by cutting the Danes into slices 
(an operation which we have since repeated on them at Copen- 
hagen, though with different instruments). That Bight Honour- 
able Lord Mayor was Sir Abraham Bradley King, then one of 
the best-looking aldermen in Europe. On this occasion he ob- 
tained, not military honour, but, on the other hand, a more 
tranquil one than the said King O'Brien Borun ever arrived at ; 
— he was actually imperial ised as a baronet in very superior 
style to his brother corporator Steemer on the loyal demi-century 
occasion. 

I have since heard that an effort was made somewhat to 
transform the armorial bearings of the Bradley King family, also, 
in commemoration of this auspicious event ; and that it was 
intended to give him, as an addition to his crest, Sir John 
Skinner's steam-packet, out of which his Majesty had landed 
just previous to bestowing the baronetcy on Sir Abraham. Here 
the city punsters began again with their vulgar insinuations ; 
and, omitting the word packet, gave out that Alderman King 
wanted to put Alderman Steemer as a supporter to his arms, 
instead of a grirhn rampant or unicorn, as customary on these 
occasions ; but this vile play upon words Sir Abraham peremp- 
torily and properly checked with the same constitutional 
firmness and success wherewith he had previously refused to 
'•' tell tales out of school " about the Orangemen to the House of 
Commons.* 

* This was the first instance I recollect of pertinacity conquering privilege. 



190 



barrington's personal sketches 



On this occasion, Sir Abraham proudly and virtuously de- 
clared that all the heralds in Europe should never ravish him as 
they had done his brother Steemer ; and that if any alteration 
was to be made in his shield by Ulster-at-arms, or any Ulster in 
Europe, he would permit nothing but an emblematic crown to 
be introduced therein, in honour and commemoration of his 
sovereign ; and though our national poet, Mr. Thomas Moore, 
and Sir Abraham, never coalesced upon any point whatsoever 
(except the consumption of paper), yet on this conciliatory occa- 
sion, Sir Abraham declared his willingness to forgive and forget 
the religion and politics of the poet for eight-and-forty hours. 
This was as it should be ; and a crown, with a posy or nosegay 
in its neighbourhood (instead of a cut and thrust) are accordingly 
embodied in the armorial bearings of Sir Abraham, the cruel idea 
of a bloody hand being now softened down and qualified by the 
bouquet which adorns it. 

Again the indefatigable corporation wags, who could let 
nothing pass, began their jocularities : the worthy Baronet's 
name being King, and the shield having a crown in it, the com- 
mon council began to hob-nob him as Your Majesty, or the 
Crown Prince, or such like. But Sir Abraham had been an 
officer in the King's service, and being a spirited fellow to boot, 
he declared open and personal hostility against all low and evil- 
minded corporate punsters. These titles were therefore relin- 
quished ; and the whole affair ended, to the real satisfaction of 
every staunch Protestant patriot from Bray to Balbiggen, and as 
far westward as the College of Maynooth, where I understand 
the rejoicings terminated — for Sir Abraham found the road too 
had to travel any farther. 

Having endeavoured somewhat to divert the reader's criticism 
on my pedigree blunder, I have, in compliance with the wish of 
the ablest, wisest, and steadiest public personages of Great Britain, 
reopened my old trunks, and made a further attempt at amusing 
myself and other folks ; and at depicting, by authentic anecdotes, 
the various and extraordinary habits and propensities of the Irish 
people, with their gradual changes of national character for the 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



191 



last fifty or sixty years — which (to my grief I say it) will be the 
work, not of a novelist, but a contemporary. I fancy there are very 
few of those who nourished so long ago, who could procure pen, 
ink, and paper, either for love or money, where they sojourn at 
present ; and of those who still inhabit the same world with the 
stationers, some have lost one-half of their faculties, at least, 
and scarce any among the remainder possess sufficient energy to 
retrace by description the events that took place during a long, 
and perhaps active career. I shall take Time by the forelock ; 
and, ere the candle goes out, draw as many Sketches of my past 
day as I may have time to record, before I wish the present 
generation a good morning — which adieu cannot now be long 
long distant : — tant pis ! 



192 



baepjngton's personal sketches 



DANGERS OF REFLECTION. 

The most extraordinary instance I recollect of a sudden affection 
of the mind being fatal to the body was presented by an old 
acquaintance of mine, Counsellor Conaghty, a gentleman of the 
Irish bar, who pined and died in consequence of an unexpected 
view of his own person ; but by no means upon the same prin- 
ciple as Narcissus. 

Mr. Conaghty was a barrister of about six feet two inches in 
length ; his breadth was about three feet across the shoulders ; 
his hands splay, with arms in full proportion to the rest of his 
members. He possessed, indeed, a set of limbs that would not 
have disgraced a sucking elephant ; and his body appeared slit 
up two-thirds of its length, as if Nature had originally intended 
(which is not very improbable) to have made twins of him ; but 
finding his brains would not answer for two, relinquished her 
design. His complexion, not a disagreeable fawn-colour, was 
spotted by two good black eyes, well intrenched in his head, and 
guarded by a thick chevaux ale frise of curly eyebrows. His 
mouth, which did not certainly extend, like a john-dory's, from 
ear to ear, was yet of sufficient width to disclose between thirty 
and forty long, strong, whitish tusks, the various heights and 
distances whereof gave a pleasing variety to that feature. Though 
his tall countenance was terminated by a chin which might, 
upon a pinch, have had an interview with his stomach, still 
there was quite enough of him between the chin and waistband 
to admit space for a waistcoat, without the least difficulty. 

Conaghty, in point of disposition, was a quiet, well-tempered, 
and, I believe, totally irreproachable person. He was not un- 
acquainted with the superficies of law, nor was he without 
professional business. Nobody, in fact, disliked him, and he 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



193 



disliked nobody. In national idiom and Emerald brogue he 
unquestionably excelled (save one) all his contemporaries. 
Dialogues sometimes occurred in Court between him and Lord 
Avonmore, the Chief Baron, which were truly ludicrous. 

The most unfortunate thing, however, about poor Conaghty, 
was his utter contempt for what fastidious folks call dress. As 
he scorned both garters and suspenders, his stockings and 
small-clothes enjoyed the full blessings of liberty. A well- 
twisted cravat, as if it feared to be mistaken for a cord, kept a 
most respectful distance from his honest throat — upon which 
the neighbouring beard flourished in full crops, to fill up the 
interstice. His rusty black coat, well trimmed with peeping 
button-moulds, left him, altogether, one of the most tremendous 
figures I ever saw, of his own profession. 

At length it pleased the Counsellor, or Old Xick on his 
behalf, to look out for a wife ; and, as dreams go by contraries, 
so Conaghty's perverse vision of matrimonial happiness induced 
him to select a sjwsa very excellent internally, but in her ex- 
terior as much the reverse of himself as any two of the same 
species could be. 

Madam Conaghty was (and I dare say still is) a neat, pretty, 
dressy little person ; her head reached nearly up to her spouse's 
hip, and if he had stood wide to let her pass, she might (without 
much stooping) have walked under him as through a triumphal 
arch. 

He was quite delighted with his captivating fairy, and she 
equally so with her good-natured giant. Nothing could promise 
better for twenty or thirty years of honeymoons, when an ex- 
traordinary and most unexpected fatality demonstrated the 
uncertainty of all sublunary enjoyments, and might teach ladies 
who have lost their beauty the dangers of a looking-glass. 

The Counsellor had taken a small house, and desired his 
dear little Mary to furnish it to her own dear little taste. This, 
as new-married ladies usually do, she set about with the greatest 
zeal and assiduity. She had a proper taste for things in general, 
and was besides extremely anxious to make her giant somewhat 

VOL. II. o 



194 



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smarter ; and, as he had seldom in his life had any intercourse 
with looking-glasses larger than necessary just to reflect his chin 
whilst shaving, she determined to place a grand mirror in her 
little drawing-room, extensive enough to exhibit the Counsellor to 
himself from head to foot ; and which, by reflecting his loose, 
shabby habiliments, and tremendous contour, might induce him 
to trim himself up. 

This plan was extremely promising in the eyes of little Mary ; 
and she had no doubt it would be entirely consonant with her 
husband's own desire of Mrs. Conaghty's little drawing-room 
being the nicest in the neighbourhood. She accordingly pur- 
chased, in Great George Street, at a very large price, a looking- 
glass of sufficing dimensions, and it was a far larger one than 
the Counsellor had ever before noticed. 

When this fatal reflector was brought home, it was placed 
leaning against the wall in the still unfurnished drawing-room, 
and the lady, having determined at once to surprise and reform 
her dear giant, did not tell him of the circumstance. The ill- 
fated Counsellor, wandering about his new house — as people 
often do toward the close of the evening — that interregnum 
between sun, moon, and candlelight, when shadows are deep and 
figures seemed lengthened — suddenly entered the room where 
the glass was deposited. Unconscious of the presence of the 
immense reflector, he beheld, in the gloom, a monstrous and 
frightful Caliban — wild, loose, and shaggy — standing close and 
direct before him ; and, as he raised his own gigantic arms in a 
paroxysm of involuntary horror, the goblin exactly followed his 
example, lifting its tremendous fists, as if with a fixed deter- 
mination to fell the Counsellor, and extinguish him for ever. 

Conaghty's imagination was excited to its utmost pitch. 
Though the spectre appeared larger than any d — 1 on authentic 
record, he had no doubt it was a genuine demon sent express to 
destroy his happiness and carry him to Belzebub. As his appre- 
hensions augmented, his pores sent out their icy perspiration ; 
he tottered — the fiend too was in motion ! his hair bristled up, 
as it were like pikes to defend his head. At length his blood 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 195 

recoiled, his eyes grew dim, his pulse ceased, his long limbs 
quivered — failed ; and down came poor Conaghty with a loud 
shriek and a tremendous crash. His beloved bride, running up 
alarmed by the noise, found the Counsellor as inanimate as the 
boards he lay on. A surgeon was sent for, and phlebotomy was 
resorted to as for apoplexy, which the seizure was pronounced to 
be. His head was shaved ; and by the time he revived a little, 
he had three extensive blisters and a cataplasm preparing their 
stings for him. 

It was two days before he recovered sufficiently to tell his 
Mary of the horrid spectre that had assailed him, for he really 
thought he had been felled to the ground by a blow from the 
goblin. Xo thing, indeed, could ever persuade him to the con- 
trary, and he grew quite delirious. 

His reason returned slowly and scantily ; and when assured 
it was only a loolciag-fjiass that was the cause of his terror, the 
assurance did not alter his belief. He pertinaciously maintained 
that this was only a kind story invented to tranquillise him. 
" Oh, my dearest Mary!" said poor Conaghty, "I'm gone ! — my 
day is come — I'm called away for ever. Oh ! had you seen the 
frightful figure that struck me down, you could not have sur- 
vived it one hour ! Yet, why should I fear the d — 1 ? I'm not 
wicked, Mary ! Xo, I'm not very wicked ! " 

A thorough Irish servant — an old fellow whom the Coun- 
sellor had brought from Connaught, and who, of course, was well 
acquainted with supernatural appearances, and had not himself 
seen the fatal mirror — discovered, as he thought, the real cause 
of the goblin's visit, which he communicated to his mistress 
with great solemnity, as she afterwards related. 

" Mistress," said the faithful Dennis Brophy, u mistress, it 
was all a mistake. By all the books in the master's study, I'd 
swear it was only a mistake ! What harm did ever my master 
do nobody ? and what would bring a d — 1 overhauling a Counsellor 
that did no harm ? What say could he have to my master?" 

" Don't tease me, Dennis," said the unhappy Mary ; " go 
along S — go I" 



196 



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" I'll tell you, mistress," said lie, " it was a d — 1 sure enough 
that was in it !" 

" Hush ! nonsense !" said his mistress. 

" By J — s ! it was the d — 1, or one of his gossoons," persisted 
Dennis; "but he mistook the house, mistress, and that's the 
truth of it !" 

" What do you mean ?" said the mistress. 

" Why, I mane that you know Mr. lives on one side of 

us, and Mr. lives at the other side, and they are both 

attorneys, and the people say they'll both go to him ; and so the 
d — 1, or his gossoon, mistook the door ; and you see he went off 
again when he found it was my master that was in it, and not 
an attorney, mistress." 

All efforts to convince Conaghty he was mistaken were vain. 
The illusion could not be removed from his mind ; he had 
received a shock which affected his whole frame. A consti- 
pation of the intestines took place, and in three weeks the poor 
fellow manifested the effects of groundless horror in a way 
which every one regretted. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



197 



FORMER STATE OF MEDICINE IX IRELAND. 

Doctor Sir Charles Morgan has given us, at the conclusion 
of his lady's excellent work, Italy, the state of "medicine" in 
that country. Our old cookery books, in like manner, after 
exquisite receipts for all kinds of dainties, to suit every appetite, 
generally finished a luxurious volume with remedies for the " bite 
of a mad dog — for scald heads — ague — burns — St. Anthony's 
fire — St. Vitus's dance — the toothache," etc. etc. Now, though 
the Doctor certainly did not take the cooks by way of precedent, 
that is no reason why I should not indulge my whim by citing 
both examples, and garnishing this volume with " the state of 
medicine in Ireland" fifty years ago. 

I do not, however, mean to depreciate the state of medicine 
in these days of "new lights" and novelties, when old drugs 
and poisons are nicknamed, and every recipe is a rebus to an old 
apothecary. Each son of Galen now strikes out his own system, 
composes his own syllabus, and finishes his patients according to 
his own j)roper fancy. "When a man dies after a consultation 
(which is generally the case, the thing being often decided by 
experiment) there is no particular necessity for any explanation 
to widows, legatees, or heirs-at-law ; the death alone of any 
testator being a sufficient apology to his nearest and dearest 
relatives for the failure of a consultation — that is, if the patient 
left sufficient property behind him. 

My state of Irish medicine, therefore, relates to those " once 
on a time" days, when sons lamented their fathers,* and wives 

* In these times it may not, perhaps, be fully credited, when I tell that 
four of my father's sons carried his body themselves to the grave ; that his eldest 
son was in a state bordering on actual distraction at his death ; and in the enthu- 
siastic paroxysms of affection which we all felt for our beloved parent at that 
cruel separation, I do even now firmly believe there was not one of us who would 



198 



B ARLINGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



could weep over expiring husbands ; when every root and 
branch of an ancient family became as black as rooks for the 
death of a blood relation, though of almost incalculable removal. 
In those times the medical old woman and the surgeon-farrier, 
the bone-setter and the bleeder, were by no means considered 
contemptible practitioners among the Christian population, who, 
in common with the dumb beasts, experienced the advantages 
of their miscellaneous practice. 

An anatomical theatre being appended to the University of 
Dublin, whenever I heard of a fresh subject, or a remarkable 
corpse, being obtained for dissection, I frequently attended the 
lectures, and many were the beauteous women and fine young 
fellows then carved into scraps and joints pro bono publico. I 
thereby obtained a smattering of information respecting our 
corporeal clockwork ; and having, for amusement, skimmed 
over Cullen's First Lines, Every Man his Own Doctor, Bishop 
Berkeley on Tar Water, and Sawny Cunningham on the 
Virtues of Fasting Spittle, I almost fancied myself qualified for 
a diploma. A Welsh aunt of mine, also, having married Doctor 
Burdet, who had been surgeon of the "Wasp" sloop of war, 
and remarkable for leaving the best stumps of any naval prac- 
titioner, he explained to me the use of his various instruments for 
tapping, trepanning, raising the shoulder-blades, etc. etc. ; but, 
when I had been a short time at my father's in the country, I 
found that the farriers and old women performed, either on man 
or beast, twenty cures for one achieved by the doctors and 
apothecaries. I had great amusement in conversing with these 
people, and perceived some reason in their arguments. 

As to the farriers, I reflected that as man is only a mechani- 
cal animal, and a horse one of the same description, there was 
no reason why a drug that was good for a pampered gelding 
might not also be good for the hard-goer mounted on him. In 
truth I have seen instances where, in point both of intellect and 

not, on the impulse of the moment, have sprung into and supplanted him in his 
grave, to have restored him to animation. But we were all a family of nature 
and of heart, and decided enemies to worldly objects. — {Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



199 



endurance, there was but very little distinction between the 
animals, save that the beverage of the one was water, and that of 
the other was punch ; and, in point of quantity, there was no 
great difference between them in this matter either. 

At that time there was seldom more than one regular doctor 
in a circuit of twenty miles, and a farrier never came to physic a 
gentleman's horse that some boxes of pills were not deducted 
from his balls, for the general use of the ladies and gentlemen of 
the family, and usually succeeded vastly better than those of the 
apothecary. 

The class of old women called colloughs were then held in 
the highest estimation, as understanding the cure (that is, if God 
pleased) of all disorders. Their materia metUea did not consist 
of gums, resins, minerals, and hot iron, as the farriers' did, but 
of leaves of bushes, bark of trees, weeds from churchyards, and 
mushrooms from fairy ground* ; rue, garlic, rosemary, birds' nests, 
foxglove, etc. In desperate cases they sometimes found it advis- 
able to put a charm into the bolus or stoop, and then it was sure 
to be " firm and good." I never could find out what the charms 
of either were. They said they should die themselves if they 
disclosed them to anybody. Xo collough ever could be a doctor 
whilst she had one tooth remaining in her head, as the remedy 
was always reduced to a pulp or paste by her own mumbling of 
its materials, and the contact of an old grinder woidd destroy 
the purity of the charms and simples, and leave the cure, they 
would say, no better than a farrier's. 

Our old collough, Jug Coyle, as she sat in a corner of the 
hob, by the great long turf fire in the kitchen, exactly in the 
position of the Indian squaws, munching and mumbling for use 
an apronful of her morning's gatherings in the fields, used to 
talk at intervals very sensibly of her art. " Ough, then, my dear 
sowl" (said she one evening), " what would the poor Irishers 
have done in owld times but for their colloughs ? Such brutes 
as you," continued she (looking at Butler, the farrier of the 
family, who was seated fast asleep on a bench at the opposite 
end of the hearth^ ; " 'tis you, and the likes of you — a curse on 



200 



B ARLINGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



you root and branch — that starved the colloughs by giving your 
poisons to both cows and quality ! Sure it's the farriers' and 
pothecaries' drugs that kills all the people ; ay, and the horses 
and cattle too !" And she shook her claw-like fist at the uncon- 
scious farrier. 

" Jug Coyle," said I, "why are you so angry?" 

Jug : " Sure it's not for myself, it's for my calling/' said she. 
" A thousand years before the round towers were built (and 
nobody can tell that time) the colloughs were greater nor any 
lady in the country. We had plenty of charms in those days, 
Master Jonah, till the farriers came — bad luck to the race ! 
Ough ! may the curse of Crummell light on yees all, breed, seed, 
and generation, Larry Butler ! not forgetting Ned Morrisy of 
Clapook, the villanous cow-doctor, that takes the good from the 
colloughs likewise, and all" 

Here Jug Coyle stopped short, as the farrier opened his eyes, 
and she knew well that if Larry Butler had a sup in, he would 
as soon beat an old woman as anybody else. She therefore 
resumed munching her herbs, but was totally silenced. 

Larry Butler was one of the oldest and most indispensable 
attaches of our family. Though nobody remembered him a hoy, 
he was as handy, as fresh, and as rational — perhaps more so — 
than half-a-century before. Short, broad, and bow-legged, bone 
and muscle kept his body together, for flesh was absent. His 
face, once extremely handsome, still retained its youthful colour- 
ing, though broken and divided ; his sharp eye began to exhibit 
the dimness of age ; the long white hair had deserted his high 
forehead, but fell, in no scanty locks, down each side of his 
animated countenance. He is before my eye at this moment ; 
too interesting, and at the same time odd a figure, ever to be 
forgotten. 

I had a great respect for old Butler ; he was very passionate, 
but universally licensed. He could walk any distance, and 
always carried in his hand a massive firing-iron. I have thus 
particularly described the old man, as being one of the most 
curious characters of his class I ever met in Ireland. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



201 



Larry soon showed signs of relapsing into slumber ; but Jug, 
fearing it was a fox's sleep (an old trick of his), did not recom- 
mence her philippic on the farriers, but went on in her simple 
praise of the collough practice. " Sure," said she, " God never 
sent any disorder into a country that he did not likewise send 
something to cure it with." 

" Why, certainly, Jug," said I, " it would be rather bad 
treatment if we had no cures in the country." 

" Ough ! that saying is like your dear father," said she, " and 
your grandfather before you, and your great-grandfather who was 
before him agin. Moreover," pursued Jug, " God planted our 
cures in the fields because there was no pothecaries." 

"Very true, Jug," said I. 

" Well, then, Master Jonah," resumed she, " if God or the 
Virgin, and I'm sure I can't say which of them planted the 
cures, sure they must have made people who knew how to pick 
them up in the fields, or what good is their growing there?" 

" There's no gainsaying that, Jug," gravely observed I. 

" Well then, it was to the colloughs, sure enough, God gave 
the knowledge of picking the cures up, because he knew well 
that they were owld and helpless, and that it would be a charity 
to employ them. When once they learned the herbs, they were 
welcome everywhere ; and there was not one man died in his 
bed (the people say) in old times for twenty now-a-days." 

" Of that there is no doubt, Jug," said I, " though there may 
be other reasons for it." 

" Ough ! God bless you agin, avourneen ! any how," said 
Jug. " Well, then, they say it was Crummell and his troopers, 
bad luck to their sowls, the murdering villains ! that brought the 
first farriers (and no better luck to them !) to Ireland, and the 
colloughs were kilt with the hunger. The craters, as the owld 
people tell, ate grass like the beasts when the cows were all kilt 
by the troopers and farriers — avourneen, avourneen !" 

Modern practitioners will perceive, by these two specimens 
of our ancient doctors, that the state of medicine in Ireland was 
totally different from that in Italy. Surgery being likewise a 



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branch of trie healing art, no doubt also differed in the two 
countries in a similar degree. I shall therefore give a few 
instances of both medico-surgical and surgico-medical practice 
fifty years ago in Ireland ; and if my talented friend Lady 
Morgan will be so good as to inquire, she will find that, though 
she has left medicine so entirely to her lord, she may get an 
admirable doctor or two to introduce into her next Irish imagi- 
nations — which I hope will be soon forthcoming — certainly not 
sooner than agreeable and welcome. 

I must here notice a revolution — namely, that of late, since 
farriers have got a " step in the peerage," and are made com- 
missioned officers in the army, they think it proper to refine 
their pharmacopoeia so as to render it more congenial to their 
new rank and station, and some horses are now not only 
theoretically but practically placed on more than a level with 
the persons who mount them. 

The practice of horse-medicine is indeed so completely 
revolutionised, that gas, steam, and the chemistry of Sir 
Humphrey Davy, are resorted to for the morbid affections of 
that animal in common with those of a nobleman. The horse, 
now, regularly takes his hot-bath like my lord and lady, James's 
powders, refined liquorice, musk, calomel, and laudanum, with 
the most " elegant extracts" and delicate infusions. As if 
Gulliver were a prophet, he literally described, in the reign of 
Queen Anne, both the English horse and the Irish peasant as 
they exist at the present moment. If the lodging, clothing, 
cleaning, food, medicine, and attendance of the modern Hoyn- 
hymm, be contrasted with the pig-sty, rags, filth, neglect, and 
hunger of the Yahoo, it must convince any honest neutral that 
Swift (that greatest of Irishmen) did not overcharge his satire. 
The sum lavished upon the care of one Hoynhymm for a single 
day, with little or nothing to do, is more (exclusive of the 
farrier) than is now paid to five Irish Yahoos for twelve hours' 
hard labour, with to feed, clothe, lodge, and nourish themselves, 
and probably five wives and twenty or thirty children, for the 
same period, into the bargain. 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



203 



A few very curious cases may elucidate our ancient practice 
of cure — a practice, I believe, never even heard of in any other 
part of Europe. The bite of a mad dog was to the Irish pea- 
santry of all tilings the most puzzling and terrific ; and I am 
sure I can scarcely guess what Doctor Morgan will think of my 
veracity when I state the two modes by which that horrible 
mania was neutralised or finally put an end to. 

When the bite of a dog took place, every effort was made to 
kill the beast, and if they succeeded, it was never inquired 
whether he actually v:as, or (as the colloughs used to say) 
pretended to he, mad. His liver was immediately taken out, 
dried by the fire till quite hard, then reduced to powder, and 
given in frequent dozes, with a draught of holy or blessed water, 
to the patient for seven days. If it happened that the saliva 
did not penetrate the sufferer's clothes, or if the dog was not 
actually mad, it was then considered that the patient was cured 
by drinking the dog's liver and holy water. And if it so 
happened that the bite set him barking, then the priest and 
farrier told them it was the will of God that he should bark, 
and they were contented either to let him die at his leisure, 
or send him to heaven a little sooner than was absolutely 
necessary. 

The herbs of the colloughs were sometimes successfully 
resorted to. Whether accidental or actual preventives or anti- 
dotes, it is not easy to determine. But when I detail the 
ulterior remedy to cure the hydrophobia in Ireland, or at least 
to render it perfectly innoxious, I am well aware that I shall 
stand a good chance of being honoured by the periodicals with 
the appellation of a " bouncer," as on occasion of the former 
volumes ; but the ensuing case, as I can personally vouch for 
the fact, I may surely give with tolerable confidence. 



204 



barrington's personal sketches 



KILLING WITH KINDNESS. 

Such a dread had the Irish of the bite of a mad dog, that they 
did not regard it as murder, but absolutely as a legal and 
meritorious act, to smother any person who had arrived at an 
advanced stage of hydrophobia. If he made a noise similar to 
barking, his hour of suffocation was seldom protracted. 

In this mode of administering the remedy, it was sometimes 
difficult to procure proper instruments ; for they conceived that 
by law the patient should be smothered between two feather- 
beds — one being laid cleverly over him, and a sufficient 
number of the neighbours lying on it till he was " out of 
danger." 

The only instance I am able to state from my own know- 
ledge occurred about the year 1781. Thomas Palmer of Bush- 
hall, in Queen's County, was then my father's land-agent, and 
at the same time a very active and intelligent magistrate of that 
county. He was, gratis, an oracle, lawyer, poet ; horse, cow, 
dog, and man doctor ; farmer, architect, brewer, surveyor, and 
magistrate of all work. He was friendly and good-natured, and 
possessed one of those remarkable figures now so rarely to be 
seen in society. I feel I am, as usual, digressing ; however, be 
the digression what it may, I cannot deny myself the pleasure 
of depicting my old friend, and endeavouring to render him as 
palpable to the vision of my reader as he is at this moment, to 
my own. 

Palmer was one of that race of giants for which the rich and 
extensive barony of Ossory, in Queen's County, now the estate 
of the Duke of Buckingham, was then and had long been cele- 
brated. His height was esteemed the middle height in that 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



205 



county — namely, about six feet two inches ; he was bulky 
without being fat, and strong, though not very muscular. He 
was, like many other giants, split wp too much, and his long 
dangling limbs appeared still longer from their clothing, which 
was invariably the same : — a pair of strong buckskin breeches, 
never very greasy, but never free from grease ; half jack-boots ; 
massive long silver spurs, either of his own or of somebody's 
grandfather's ; a scarlet waistcoat with long skirts ; and a coat 
with " all the cloth in it." These habiliments rendered him alto- 
gether a singular but not other than respectable figure. His 
visage made amends for both his ouM boots and breeches ; it 
was as well calculated as could be for a kind-hearted, good- 
humoured, convivial old man. His queue wig, with a curl at 
each side, had his grizzle hair combed smoothly over the front of 
it ; and he seldom troubled the powder-puff, but when he had 
got the " skins whitened," in order to " dine in good company." 
He was the hardest-goer either at kettle or screw (except Squire 
Mood of Iioundwood) of the whole grand-jury, for whose use he 
made a new song every summer assize ; and it was from him I 
heard the very unanswerable argument, " that if a man fills the 
bottom of his glass, there can be no good reason why he should 
not also fill the top of it ; and if he empties the top of his glass, 
he certainly ought in common civility to pay the bottom the 
same compliment;" — no man ever more invariably exemplified 
his own theorem. 

Thomas Falmer was hale and healthy ; his fifty-seventh year 
had handed him o\'er safe and sound to its next neighbour ; his 
property was just sufficient (and no more) to gallop side by side 
with his hospitality. "When at home, his boiler was seldom 
found bubbling without a corned round withinside it ; and a 
gander or cock turkey frequently danced at the end of a string 
before the long turf fire. Ducks, hares, chickens, or smoked 
ham often adorned the sides of his table ; whilst apple-dump- 
lings in the centre and potatoes at cross corners completed a 
light snack for five or six seven-feet Ossoronians, who left no 
just reason to the old cook and a couple of ruddy ploughmen 



206 



barrington's personal sketches 



(who attended as butlers) to congratulate themselves upon the 
dainty appetites of their masters, or the balance of nourishment 
left to liquidate the demand of their own stomachs. But, alas ! 
those pleasurable specimens of solid fare have passed away for 
ever ! As age advances, nature diminishes her weights and 
measures in our consumption, and our early pounds and Scotch 
pints {two bottles) are at length reduced to the miserable rations 
of ounces and glassfuls. 

At this magistrate's cottage, which had as stout a roof to it as 
any mansion in the county, I once dined, about the year 1781, 
when the state of medicine in Ireland was exemplified in a way 
that neither Cullen, Darwin, Perceval, James, or any other 
learned doctor ever contemplated, and which I am convinced — 
had it been the practice in Italy — Doctor Morgan would not 
have passed over in total silence. 

We had scarcely finished such a meal as I have particular- 
ised, and " got into the punch," when a crowd of men, women, 
and children came up to the door in great confusion, but re- 
spectfully took off their hats and bonnets, and asked humbly to 
speak to his worship. 

Tom Palmer seemed to anticipate their business, and in- 
quired at once " if Dan Dempsey of the Pike (turnpike) was in 
the same way still?" 

" Ough ! please your worship," cried out twenty voices to- 
gether, " worse, your worship, worse nor ever ; death's crawling 
upon him — he can't stop, and what's the use in leaving the poor 
boy in his pains any longer, your worship ? We have got two 
good feather-beds at the Pike, and we want your worship's leave 
to smother Dan Dempsey, if your worship pleases." 

" Ough, avourneen ! he growls and barks like any mastiff 
dog, please your worship," cried a tremulous old woman, who 
seemed quite in terror. 

" You lie, Nancy Bergin," said her older husband ; " Dan 
Dempsey does not bark like a mastiff; it's for all the world like 
your worship's white lurcher, when she's after the rabbits, so it 
is !" 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



207 



" He snapped three times at myself this morning," said 
another humane lady, " and the neighbours said it were all as 
one, almost, as biting me." 

" Hush ! hush !" said the magistrate, waving his hand; " any 
of you who can read and write come in here." 

" Ough ! there's plenty of that sort, please your worship," 
said Maurice Dowling, the old schoolmaster. " Sure it's not 
ignorance I'd be teaching my scholards every day these forty 
years, except Sundays and holidays, at the Pike. There's plenty 
of swearing scholards here any how, your worship." 

" Come in, any three of you, then, who can clearly swear Dan 
Dempsey barks like a dog — no matter whether like a mastiff or 
a lurcher — and attempts to bite." 

The selection was accordingly made, and the affidavit sworn, 
to the effect that Dan Dempsey had been bit by a mad dog ; 
that he went mad himself, barked like any greyhound, and had 
no objection to bite whatever Christian came near him. Squire 
Palmer then directed them to go back to the Pike, and said they 
might smother Dan Dempsey if he barked any more in the 
morning ; but told them to wait till then. 

"Ah, then, at what hour, please your worship?" said Nan 
Bergin, accompanied by several other female voices, whose 
owners seemed rather impatient. 

" Three hours after daybreak," said the magistrate ; " but take 
care to send to Mr. Calcut, the coroner, to come and hold his in- 
quest after Dan's smothered. Take care of that, at your peril." 

" Never fear, please your worship," said Ned Bergin. 

They then gathered into a sort of consultation before the 
door, and bowing with the same respect as when they came, all 
set off to smother Dan Dempsey of Ptushhall Turnpike. 

The magistrate's instructions were accurately obeyed. 
Daniel barked, and was duly smothered between two feather- 
beds three hours after daybreak next morning, by the school- 
master's watch. Mr. Calcut came and held his coroner's inquest, 
who brought in their verdict that the said " Daniel Dempsey 
died in consequence of a mad clog!" 



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barrington's personal sketches 



The matter was not at that day considered the least extra- 
ordinary, and was, in fact, never mentioned except in the course 
of common conversation, and as the subject of a paragraph in the 
Zeinster Journal. 

It is a singular circumstance that the termination of poor 
Palmer's life resulted from his consistency in strictly keeping his 
own aphorism which I have before mentioned. He dined at my 
father's lodge at Cullenagh ; and having taken his quantum 
sujflcit, as people who dined there generally did, became obsti- 
nate, which is frequently the consequence of being pot-valiant, 
and insisted on riding home twelve or thirteen miles in a dark 
night. He said he had a couple of songs to write for the high- 
sheriff, which Mr. Boyce from Waterford had promised to sing 
at the assizes, and that he always wrote best with a full stomach. 
It was thought that he fell asleep, and that his horse, supposing 
he had as much right to drink freely as his master, had quietly 
paid a visit to his accustomed watering-place, when, on the 
animal's stooping to drink, poor Palmer pitched over his head 
into the pond, wherein he was found next morning quite dead, 
though scarcely covered with water, and grasping the long 
branch of a tree as if he had been instinctively endeavouring to 
save himself, but had not strength, owing to the overpowering 
effect of the liquor. His horse had not stirred from his side. 
His loss was, to my father's affairs, irreparable. 

It is very singular that nearly a similar death occurred to an 
attorney, who dined at my father's about a month afterward — 
old Allen Kelly of Portarlington, one of the most keen though 
cross-grained attorneys in all Europe. He came to Cullenagh to 
insist upon a settlement for some bills of costs he had dotted up 
against my father to the tune of fifty pounds. It being generally 
in those times more convenient to country gentlemen to pay by 
bond than by ready money, and always more agreeable to the 
attorney, because he was pretty sure of doubling his costs before 
the judgment was satisfied, Allen Kelly said that out of friend- 
ship, he'd take a bond and warrant of attorney for his fifty pounds, 
though it was not taxed, which he declared would only increase 



OF HIS OVX TIMES. 



209 



it wonderfully. The bond and warrant, which he had ready 
filled up in his pocket, were duly executed, and both parties 
were pleased, my father to get rid of Allen Kelly, and Allen 
Kelly to get fifty pounds for the worth of ten. Of course he 
stayed to dine, put the bond carefully into his breeches-pocket, 
drank plenty of port and hot punch to keep him warm on his 
journey, mounted his nag, reached Portarlington, where he 
watered his nag (and himself into the bargain). Hot pimch, 
however, is a bad balance-master, and so Allen fell over the nag's 
head, and the poor beast trotted home quite lonesome for want 
of his master. Next day Allen was found well bloated with 
the Barrow water ; indeed, swollen to full double his usual cir- 
cumference. In his pockets were found divers documents, 
which had been bonds, notes, and other securities, and which he 
had been collecting through the country ; but, unfortunately for 
his administrators, the Barrow had taken pity on the debtors, 
and whilst Allen was reposing himself in the bed of that beauti- 
ful river, her naiads were employed in picking his pocket, and 
there was scarcely a bill, bond, note, or any acknowledgment, 
where the fresh ink had not yielded up its colouring ; and 
neither the names, sums, dates, nor other written matters, of one 
out of ten, could be by any means deciphered. In truth, few 
of the debtors were very desirous on this occasion of turning 
decipherers, and my father's bond (among others) was from that 
day never even suggested to him by any representative of Allen 
Kelly, the famous attorney of Portarlington. 



vol. n. 



p 



210 



b Arlington's personal sketches 



SKINNING A BLACK CHILD. 

Another, and a not unpleasant, because not fatal, incident may 
serve to illustrate the " state of medicine and surgery," between 
forty and fifty years ago, in Ireland. It occurred near my bro- 
ther's bouse at Castlewood, and the same Lieutenant Palmer of 
Dureen was a very interested party in it. The thing created 
great merriment among all the gossiping, tattling old folks, male 
and female, throughout the district. 

The lieutenant, having been in America, had brought home a 
black lad as a servant, who resided in the house of Dureen with 
the family. It is one of the mysteries of nature, that infants 
sometimes come into this world marked and spotted in divers 
fantastical ways and places, a circumstance which the faculty, 
so far as they know anything about it, consider as the sympa- 
thetic effect either of external touch or ardent imagination ; or, 
if neither of these be held for the cause, then they regard it 
as a sort of lusus with which Dame Nature occasionally sur- 
prises, and then (I suppose) laughs at the world, for marvelling 
at her capriciousness — a quality which she has, as satirists pre- 
tend, plentifully bestowed on the fairest part of the creation. 
Be this as it may, the incident I am about to mention is, in its 
way, unique ; and whether the occasion of it proceeded from 
sympathy, fancy, or touch, or exhibited a regular lusus naturw, 
never has been, and now never can be, unequivocally decided. 

A sister of the lieutenant, successively a very good maiden, 
woman, and wife, had been married to one Mr. George Washing- 
ton, of the neighbourhood, who, from his name, was supposed to 
be some distant blood-relation to the celebrated General Wash- 
ington ; and, as that distinguished individual had no children, 
all the old women and other wiseacres of Durrow, Ballyragget, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



211 



Ballyspellen, and BaUynakill, made up their minds that his Ex- 
cellency, when dying, would leave a capital legacy in America 
to his blood-relation, Mr. George Washington of Dureen, in Ire- 
land, who was accordingly advised — and, with the aid of the 
Eev. Mr. Hoskinson, clergyman of Durrow (father to the present 
Yice-Provost of Dublin University), he took the advice — to write 
a dignified letter to his Excellency, General George "Washington 
of Virginia, President, etc. etc. etc., stating himself to have the 
honour of entertaining hopes that he should be enabled to show 
his Excellency, by an undeniable pedigree (when he could pro- 
cure it), that he had a portion of the same blood as his Excel- 
lency's running in his humble veins. The letter went on to state 
that he had espoused the sister of a British officer who had the 
honour of being taken prisoner in America, and that he, the 
writer, having reasonable expectation of shortly fathering a 
young Mr. Washington, his Excellency's permission was humbly 
requested for the child to be named his god-son ; till the receipt 
of which permission, the christening should be kept open by his 
most faithful servant and distant relation, etc. 

This epistle was duly despatched to his Excellency, at Mount 
Vernon, in Virginia, and Mrs. George Washington, of Dureen, 
lost no time in performing her husband's promise. No joy ever 
exceeded that which seized on Mr. Washington when it was 
announced that his beloved wife had been taken ill, and was in 
excessive torture. The entire household, master included, were 
just seated at a comfortable and plentiful dinner ; the first slices 
off the round or turkey were cut and tasted ; some respectable 
old dames of the neighbourhood had just stepped in to congratu- 
late the family on what would occur, and hear all that was going 
forward at this critical, cheerful, and happy moment of anticipa- 
tion, when Mrs. Gregory (the lady's doctor), who was, in her own 
way, a very shrewd, humorous kind of body, and to whom most 
people in that country under thirty-five years of age had owed 
their existence, entered the apartment to announce the happy 
arrival of as fine a healthy little boy as could be, and that Mrs. 
Washington was as well, or indeed rather better, than might be 



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barrington's personal sketches 



expected under the circumstances. A general cheer by the whole 
company followed, and bumpers of hot punch were drunk, with 
enthusiasm, to the success and future glory of the young General 
"Washington. 

Mrs. Gregory at length beckoned old Mrs. Palmer to the 
window with a mysterious air, and whispered something in her 
ear ; on hearing which, Mrs. Palmer immediately fell flat on the 
floor, as if dead, the old dames hobbled off to her assistance, and 
Mrs. Gregory affected to feel strongly herself about something — 
ejaculating, loud enough to be generally heard, and with that 
sort of emphasis people use when they wish to persuade us they 
are praying in downright earnest, "God's will be done I" 

" What about ?" said the lieutenant, bristling up : "I suppose 
my mother has taken a glass too much ; it is not the first time. 
She'll soon come round again, never fear. Don't be alarmed, 
my friends." 

" God's will be done 1" again exclaimed the oracular Mrs. 
Gregory. 

" What 's the matter ? What is all this about ?" grumbled 
the men. "Lord bless us! what can it be?" squalled the 
women. 

" There cannot be a finer or stronger little boy in the Varsal 
world," said Mrs. Gregory; "but, Lord help us!" continued 
she, unable longer to contain her overcharged grief, " it's — it's 
not so — so white as it should be !" 

"Not white?" exclaimed every one of the company simul- 
taneously. 

" No — Lord, no ! " answered Mrs. Gregory, looking mourn- 
fully up to the ceiling in search of heaven. Then casting her 
eyes wistfully around the company, she added, " God's will be 
done ! but the dear little boy is — is — quite black !" 

" Mack ! black !" echoed from every quarter of the apart- 
ment. 

"As black as your hat, if not blacker" replied Mrs. 
Gregory. 

" Oh ! oh — h !" groaned Mr. Washington. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



213 



" Oh ! oh — h !" responded Mrs. Gregory. 

"Blood and ouns !" said the lieutenant, 

" See how I am shaking," said the midwife, taking up a 
large glass of potteen and drinking it off to settle her nerves. 

What passed afterward on that evening may be easily sur- 
mised ; but the next day Mrs. Gregory, the sage femme, came 
into Castle Durrow to " prevent mistakes" and tell the affair 
to the neighbours in her own way ; that is, partly in whispers, 
partly aloud, and partly by nods and winks, such as old ladies 
frequently use when they wish to divulge more than they like 
to speak openly. 

Sufficient could be gathered, however, to demonstrate that 
young Master Washington had not one white, or even grey spot 
on his entire body, and that some frizzled hair was already 
beginning to show itself on his little pate ; but that no nurse 
could be found who would give him a drop of nourishment, 
even were he famishing, all the women verily believing that, 
as Mrs. Washington was herself an unexceptionable wife, it 
must be a son of the devil by a dream, and nothing else than an 
imp. However, Mr. Hoskinson, the clergyman, soon contra- 
dicted this report by assuring the Protestants that the day for 
that sort of miracle had been for some centuries over, and that 
the infant was as fine, healthy, natural, and sprightly a little 
negro as ever came from the coast of Guinea. 

Never was there such a buzz and hubbub in any neighbour- 
hood as now took place in and about the town of Castle 
Durrow. Everybody began to compute periods and form con- 
jectures ; and though it was universally known that red wine, 
etc. etc., cast on the mamma often leaves marks upon children, 
yet censorious and incredulous people persisted in asserting 
that such marks only came in spots or splashes, when the per- 
son of a lady happened to be actually touched by the colouring 
matter ; but that no child could be black, and all black, unless 
in a 'natural way. Among the lower orders, however, the thing 
was settled at once in the most plausible and popular manner, 
and set down as downright witchcraft and nothing else ; and 



214 



baerington's personal sketches 



suspicion fell on old Betty Hogan of the Seven Sisters, near 
Ballyspellen, who was known to be a witch, and able to raise the 
devil at Hallow Eve, to turn smocks, and tell fortunes ; and she 
was verily seen by more than one to go into the Cave of 
Dunmore with a coal-black cur dog (without tail or ears) 
after her the very night and minute Mrs. Washington was 
delivered of the devil ; and nobody ever saw the cur dog 
before or since. 

Mr. Washington and the lieutenant were, however, by no 
means at ease upon the subject of this freak of Nature, and 
were well warranted in their dissatisfaction, as at length all the 
old women agreed in believing that the black lad from America 
was nothing else but the devil disguised, who had followed the 
lieutenant as a servant-boy to gain over the family, and parti- 
cularly Mrs. Washington, as Satan did Eve ; and that he ought 
to be smothered by the priests, or at least transported out of the 
country, before he did any more mischief, or there would not be 
a white child in the whole barony the next season. 

Lieutenant Palmer was of course high in blood for the 
honour of his sister, and Mr. Washington cock-a-hoop for the 
character of his wife ; and so great was their ire, that it was 
really believed the black boy would have been put down a 
draw-well, as the people threatened, that being the approved 
method of getting rid of a devil whenever he showed his face in 
that part of the country. But as possibly Betty Hogan might 
be a better judge of him than themselves, they suspended the 
execution till they should bring the old witch and confront her 
and the devil together, when of course he would show his cloven 
foot, and they might both be put into the well, if they did not 
take every taste of the black off Master Washington. 

The father and uncle decided more calmly and properly to 
lay the whole affair before a consultation of doctors, to know if 
it was not a regular imagination mark, whether a child might 
not be marked by mere fancy, without the marking material 
(such as grapes, currants, or the like) touching the mother ; 
and lastly, why, as children in general are only partially marked, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



215 



this child was not spotted like others, but as black as ebony 
every inch of it. 

All the doctors in the neighbourhood were called in to the 
consultation. Old Butler, the farrier (heretofore mentioned), 
came with all expedition to Dureen, and begged leave to give 
his opinion and offer his services, wishing to see Master Wash- 
ington before the doctors arrived, as he had a secret for turning 
any skin ever so brown as white as milk ! 

On seeing Master Washington, however, he declared he was 
too black entirely for his medicines, or anybody else's. " The 
devil so black a crethur," says he, " ever I saw, except Cornet 
French's Black and all Black, that beat the Pandreen mare for 
the King's hundred at the races of Gort ; the devil a white 
hair had he from muzzle to tail, good, bad, or indifferent. By 
my sowl ! it's a neat crust poor George Washington has got to 
mumble anyhow ! I never saw luck or grace come of the negers, 
bad luck to them all ! " 

The day for the consultation being fixed, several apothecaries 
and bone-setters attended at the house of Mr. George Bathron of 
Dureen, grocer, wine-merchant, surgeon, apothecary, druggist, 
and physician. 

The first point stated and unanimously agreed on was, " that 
the child was black." The reasons for that colour being uni- 
versal on the young gentleman were not quite so clear. At 
length Dr. Bathron, finding he had the lead, and having been 
some years at school when a boy, and likewise apprenticed to a 
grocer and apothecary at Ballyragget, where he learned several 
. technical words in the Latin tongue; finding, besides, that he 
had an excellent opportunity to prove his learning to those less 
educated — declared with great gravity that he had read many 
authors upon the subject of marks, and could take upon himself 
positively to assert that the child was (according to all authority 
on such matters) a casus omissus. The others, not being exactly 
sure either of the shape, size, or colour, of a casus omissus, 
thought it better to accede to what they did not comprehend, and 
all subscribed to the opinion that the child was a casus omissus. 



216 



barpjngton's personal sketches 



It was immediately circulated outside the house that all the 
doctors found the child to be a casus omissus ; and old Skelton, 
who had been a trooper in Germany, declared that a doctor 
there told him that was the true surname of a devil incarnate. 
And the prevailing notion then was, that the black lad, old 
Betty Hogan the witch, and Master Washington, should all be 
put down the draw-well together, to save the other married 
women of the country from bearing devils instead of children. 

The doctors, however, having given their opinion, were ex- 
tremely ticklish in taking any step with a casus omissus ; and 
not wishing to pitch themselves against any infernal personi- 
fication, left future proceedings to the entire management of Dr. 
Bathron. 

Doctor Bathron was a smart, squat, ruddy, jovial apothecary, 
and he was also a professed poet, who had made some celebrated 
odes on the birthday of Miss Flower, Lord Ashbrooke's sister, 
when she visited Castle Durrow ; and on this occasion he re- 
quired a fortnight to make up his mind as to the best proceedings 
to bring the skin to its proper colour. Having, by search of old 
book-stalls in Dublin (whither he went for the purpose), found 
an ancient treatise, translated from the work of the high German 
Doctor Cratorious (who nourished in the fourteenth century), on 
skinning certain parts of the body to change the colour or com- 
plexion, or effectually to disguise criminals who had escaped 
from prison ; by which means, likewise, disfiguring marks, 
freckles, moles, etc., might be removed ; Dr. Bathron decided, 
that if this could be done partially, why not on the entire body, 
by little and little, and not skinning one spot till the last should 
be healed ? He therefore stated to Mr. Washington, and all the 
good family of Dureen, that he would take upon himself to 
whiten the child — as he was perfectly satisfied the black skin 
was merely the outside, or scarf-skin, and that the real skin and 
flesh underneath were the same as everybody else's. 

The mode of operating was now the subject of difficulty. It 
was suggested, and agreed on, to call in Mr. Knaggs, the doctor 
of Mount Mellick, who, though he had injured his character as a 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



217 



practitioner of judgment by attempting to cut off the head of 
Sam Doxy of the Derrys, as hereinafter mentioned, had at the 
same time proved himself a skilful operator, having gashed 
boldly into the nape of Mr. Doxy's neck without touching the 
spinal marrow, which a bungler needs must have done. He 
had also acquired the reputation of science by writing a treatise 
on the Spa of Ballyspellen, which the innkeeper there had em- 
ployed him to compose, in order to bring customers to his house 
to drink the waters as " a specific for numerous disorders, when 
mixed in due proportion with excellent wines, which might be 
had very reasonable at the sign of the Fox and Piper, at Bally- 
spellen," etc. 

This man, in fine, together with Doctor Bathron, undertook 
to bring Master Washington to a proper hue by detaching the 
exterior black pelt which was so disagreeable to the family, and 
letting the natural white skin, which they had no doubt was 
concealed under it, come to light — thereby restoring the boy, as 
he ought to be, to his happy parents. 

" You'll gain immortal honour," said the grandmother ; u I 
am sure they will all be bound to pray for you ! " 

The state of practice in Ireland suggested but two ways of 
performing this notable operation — one purely surgical, the other 
surgico-medical — namely, either by gradually flaying with the 
knife, or by blisters. 

It was at length settled to begin the operation the ensuing 
week, previously preparing the heir-at-law by medicine to pre- 
vent inflammation ; the first attempt was to be on a small 
scale, and the operation to be performed in Doctor Bathron's 
own surgery ; — and he, being still undecided whether the scalpel 
and forceps, or Spanish flies, would be the most eligible mode of 
skinning Master Washington, determined to try both ways at 
once, one on each arm, and to act in future according as he saw 
the skin yield easiest. 

Most people conceived that, as a blister always raises the 
skin, it would be the readiest agent in loosening and carrying 
off the black one that had created so much uneasiness in the 



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present instance : — the doctor's doubts as to which, were, that 
the blister alone might not rise regularly, but operate at one 
place better than at another — in which case the child might be 
piebald, which would make him far worse than before. 

The operation at length proceeded, and Lieutenant Palmer 
himself recounted to me every part of the incident. A strong 
blister, two inches by three, was placed on the child's right arm, 
and being properly covered, remained there without inflicting 
any torture for above an hour. The left arm was reserved for 
the scalpel and forceps, and the operator entertained no doubt 
whatever of complete success. 

The mode he pursued was very scientific ; he made two 
parallel slashes as deep as he could in reason, about three inches 
down the upper part of the arm, and a cross one, to introduce 
the forceps and strip the loose black skin off, when he could 
snip it away at the bottom, and leave the white or rather red 
flesh underneath, to generate a new skin, and show the proper 
colouring for a god-child of General Washington. 

All eyes were now riveted to the spot. The women cried in 
an under key to Master George, who roared. " Hush, hush, my 
dear," said the Doctor ; " you don't know what's good for you, 
my little innocent!" whilst he applied the forceps, to strip off 
the skin like a surtout. The skin was tight, and would not 
come away cleverly with the first tug, as the doctor had expected ; 
nor did anything white appear, though a sufficiency of red blood 
manifested itself. 

The doctor was greatly surprised. " I see," said he, " it is 
somewhat deeper than we had conceived. We have not got deep 
enough." Another gash on each side ; but the second gash had 
no better success. Doctor Bathron seemed desperate ; but con- 
ceiving that in so young a subject one short cut — be it ever so 
deep — could do no harm, his hand shook, and he gave the scalpel 
its full force, till he found it touch the bone. The experiment 
was now complete ; he opened the wound, and starting back, 
affected to be struck with horror, threw down his knife, stamped 
and swore the child was in fact either the devil or a lusus 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



219 



naturae, for that he could see the very bone, and the child was 
actually coal-black to the bone/ and the bone black also, and that 
he would not have taken a thousand guineas to have given a 
single gash to a thing which was clearly supernatural — actually 
dyed in grain. He appeared distracted. However, the child's 
arm was bound up, a good poultice put over it, the blister hastily 
removed from the other arm, and the young gentleman, fortu- 
nately for Doctor Bathron, recovered from the scarification, and 
lived with an old dry-nurse for four or five years. He was then 
killed by a cow of Ins father's horning him, and died with the 
full reputation of having been a devil in reality, which was fully 
corroborated by a white sister of his, and his mother (as I heard), 
departing about the very same time, if not on the next day. It 
was said he took their souls away with him, to make his peace 
with his master for staying so long. 

Doctor George Bathron, who was the pleasantest united 
grocer and surgeon in the county, at length found it the best 
policy to tell this story himself, and by that means neutralise 
the ridicule of it. He often told it to me, whilst in company 
with Mr. Palmer ; and by hearing both versions, I obtained full 
information about the circumstance, which I relate as a very 
striking example of the mode in which we managed a lusus 
naturcc when we caught one in Ireland five-and-forty years ago. 



220 



barring-ton's personal sketches 



THE FARRIER AND WHIPPER-IN. 

Tom White, a whipper-in at my father's at Blandsfort, had his 
back crushed by leaping his horse into a gravel-pit, to pull off 
the scut of a hare. The horse broke his neck, the hare was 
killed, and the whipper-in, to all appearance, little better ; and 
when we rode up, there lay three carcases "all in a row." How- 
ever (as deaths generally confer an advantage upon some survivor), 
two of the corpses afforded good cheer next day : — we ate the 
hare, the hounds ate the horse, and the worms would certainly 
have made a meal of Tom White, had not old Butler, the farrier, 
taken his cure in hand, after Doctor Ned Stapleton, of Mary- 
borough, the genuine bone-setter of that county, had given him 
up as broken-backed and past all skill. As has been already 
seen, our practice of pharmacy, medicine, and surgery in Ireland, 
fifty years ago, did not correspond with modern usages ; and 
though our old operations might have had a trifle more of torture 
in them — either from bluntness of knives or the mode of slashing 
a patient ; yet, in the end, I conceive that few more lives are 
saved by hacking, hewing, and thrusting, scientifically, according 
to modern practice, than there were by the old trooper-like 
fashion. 

I was in Blandsfort House when Mr. Jemmy Butler, our 
hereditary farrier, who had equal skill — according to the old 
school — in the treatment of dogs, cows, and horses, as well as in 
rat-catching, began and concluded his medico-surgical cure of 
Tom White : I can therefore recount with tolerable fidelity the 
successful course adopted toward that courageous sportsman. 

Tom's first state of insensibility soon gave way ; and incon- 
trovertible proofs of his existence followed, in sundry deep groans, 
and now and then a roaring asseveration that his back was broke. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



221 



He entreated us to send off for his clergy without any delay, or 
the reverend father would not find lnm in this world. However, 
Mr. Butler, who had no great belief in any world either above or 
below the Queen's County, declared, " that if the clergy came, 
he'd leave Tom White to die, as he well knew Tom was a thief ; 
and if any clergy botheration was made about his sowl, it would 
only tend to irritate and inflame his hurt." But he undertook 
to give him a better greasing than all the priests in the barony, 
if they should be seven years anointing him with the best salva- 
tion-oil ever invented. 

Tom acquiesced ; and, in fear of death, acknowledged " he 
was a great thief, sure enough, but if he recovered, he would 
take up, and tell all he had done, without a word of a lie, to 
Father Cahill of Stradbally, who was always a friend to the poor 
sarvants." 

Mr. Butler now commenced his cure, at the performance of 
which every male in the house, high and low, was called on to 
be present. The farrier first stripped Tom to his shirt, and then 
placed lnm flat on the great kitchen-table, with his face down- 
ward ; and having (after being impeded by much roaring and 
kicking) tied a limb fast to each leg of it, so as to make a St. 
Andrew's cross of hini, he drew a strong tablecloth over the 
lower part of the sufferer's body ; and tying the corners under- 
neath the table, had the pleasure of seeing Tom White as snug 
and fast as he could wish, to undergo any degree of torture 
without being able to shift a quarter of an inch. 

Mr. Butler then walked round in a sort of triumph, every 
now and then giving the knots a pull, to tighten them, and say- 
ing, " Mighty well — mighty good ! Xow stand fast, Tom." 

Tom's back being thus duly bared, the doctor ran his immense 
thumb from top to bottom along the spine, with no slight degree 
of pressure ; and whenever the whipper-in roared loudest, Mr. 
Butler marked the spot he was touching with a lump of chalk. 
Having, in that way, ascertained the tender parts, he pressed 
them with all his force, as if he were kneading dough — just, as 
he said, to settle the joints quite even. Xo bull in the midst of 



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five or six bull-dogs tearing him piecemeal could, even in his 
greatest agonies, amuse the baiters better, or divert them, with 
more tremendous roars, than the whipper-in did during the 
greatest part of this operation. 

The operator, having concluded his reconnoitring, proceeded 
to real action. He drew parallel lines with chalk down Tom's 
back — one on each side the back-bone ; at particular points he 
made a cross stroke, and at the tender parts a double one ; so 
that Tom had a complete ladder delineated on his back, as if the 
doctor intended that something should mount by it from his 
waistband to his cravat. 

The preliminaries being thus gone through, and Mr. Butler 
furnished with a couple of red-hot irons, such as maimed horses are 
fired with, he began, in a most deliberate and skilful manner, to 
fire Tom according to the rules and practice of the ars veterinaria. 
The poor fellow's bellowing, while under the actual cautery, all 
the people said, they verily believed was the loudest ever heard 
in that country since the massacre of Mullymart.* This part 
of the operation, indeed, was by no means superficially per- 
formed, as Mr. Butler mended the lines and made them all of a 
uniform depth and colour, much as the writing-master mends 
the letters and strokes in a child's copybook ; and as they were 
very straight and regular, and too well broiled, to suffer any 
effusion of red blood, Tom's back did not look much the worse 
for the tattooing. In truth, if my readers recollect the excellent 
mode of making a cut down each side of a saddle of mutton, 
just to elicit the brown gravy, they will have a good idea of the 
longitudinal cauteries in question. On three or four of the 
tender places before mentioned Mr. Butler drew his transverse 
cross bars, which quite took off the uniform appearance, and 
gave a sort of garnished look to the whole drawing, which 
seemed very much to gratify the operator, who again walked 

* A massacre of the Irish at a place called Mullymart, in the county of Kil- 
dare, which is spoken of by Casaubon in his Britannia as a thing prophesied : the 
prophesy did actually take effect ; and it is altogether one of the most remarkable 
traditionary tales of that country. — {Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



223 



round and round the body several times with a red-hot iron in 
his hand, surveying, and here and there retouching the ragged 
or uneven parts. This finishing rendered the whipper-in rather 
hoarse, and his first roars were now changed to softer notes — 
somewhat as an opera-singer occasionally breaks into his falsetto. 

u Howld your bother," said Mr. Butler, to whom Tom's in- 
cessant shrieking had become very disagreeable : " howld your 
music, I say, or I'll put a touch on your nose as tight as your- 
self did on Brown Jack, when I was firing the ring-bone out of 
him: you're a greater beast yourself nor ever Brown Jack was." 

Mr. Butler having partly silenced the whipper-in through 
fear of the touch, the second part of the process was undertaken 
— namely, depositing what is termed by farriers the cold charge 
on the back of Tom White. However, on this occasion the re- 
gular practice was somewhat varied, and the cold charge was 
nearly boiling hot when placed upon the raw ladder on the 
whipper-in's back. I saw the torture boiled in a large iron ladle, 
and will mention the ingredients, just to show that they were 
rather more exciting: than our milk-and-water charges of the 
present day: — viz. "Burgundy pitch, black pitch, diaculum, 
yellow wax, white wax, mustard, black resin, white resin, sal 
ammoniac, bruised hemlock, camphor, Spanish flies, and oil of 
origanum, boiled up with spirits of turpentine, onion-juice, and 
a glass of whisky ; it was kept simmering till it became of a 
proper consistence for application, and was then laid on with a 
painter's brush, in the same way they caulk a pleasure-boat. 
Four coats of this savoury substance did the farrier successively 
apply, each one as the former began to cooL But, on the first 
application, even the dread of the touch could not restrain Tom 
White's vociferation. After this had settled itself in the chinks, 
he seemed to be quite stupid, and tired of roaring, and lay com- 
pletely passive, or rather insensible, while Mr. Butler finished to 
his taste ; dotting it over with short lamb's-wool as thick as it 
would stick, and then another coat of the unction, with an addi- 
tion of wool ; so that, when completed by several layers of 
charge and lamb's-wool, Tom's back might very well have been 



224 



barrington's personal sketches 



mistaken for a saddle of Southdown before it was skinned. A 
thin ash-board was now neatly fitted to it down Tom's spine by 
the carpenter, and made fast with a few short nails driven into 
the charge. I believe none of them touched the quick, as the 
charge appeared above an inch and a half thick, and it was only 
at the blows of the hammer that the patient seemed to feel extra 
sensibility. Tom was now untied and helped to rise : his woolly 
carcase was bandaged all round with long strips of a blanket, 
which being done, the operation was declared to be completed 
in less than three-quarters of an hour. 

The other servants now began to make merry with Tom 
White. One asked him how he liked purgatory ? — another, if 
he'd "stop thieving," after that judgment on him? — a third, what 
more could Father Cahill do for him ? Doctor Butler said but 
little : he assumed great gravity, and directed " that the whipper- 
in should sit up stiff for seven days and nights, by which time 
the juices would he dried on him ; after that he might lay down 
if he could!' 

This indeed was a very useless permission, as the patient's 
tortures were now only in their infancy. So soon as the charge 
got cold and stiff in the niches and fancy figures upon his back, 
he nearly went mad ; so that for a few days they were obliged 
to strap him with girths to the head of his bed to make him 
"stay easy;" and sometimes to gag him, that his roars might 
not disturb the company in the dining parlour. Wallace the 
piper said that Tom's roarings put him quite out ; and an elderly 
gentleman who was on a visit with us, and who had not been 
long married to a young wife, said his bride was so shocked and 
alarmed at the groans and " pullaloes " of Tom White, that she 
could think of nothing else. 

When the poor fellow's pains had altogether subsided, and 
the swathing was off, he cut one of the most curious figures ever 
seen : he looked as if he had a stake driven through his body ; 
and it was not till the end of four months that Mr. Butler began 
to pour sweet oil down his neck, between his back and the 
charge, which he continued to do daily for about another month, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



225 



till the charge gradually detached itself, and broken-backed 
Tom was declared cured : in truth, I believe he never felt any 
inconvenience from his fall afterward. 

This mode of cauterising the people was then much practised 
by the old farriers, often with success ; and I never recollect 
any fatal effects happening in consequence. 

The farrier's rowelling also was sometimes had recourse to, 
to prevent swellings from coming to a head ; and I only heard 
of two fatalities arising herefrom — one, in the case of a half- 
mounted gentleman at Castle Comber, who died of a locked 
jaw ; and another, in that of a shopkeeper at Borris, in Ossory, 
who expired from mortification occasioned by a tow and turpen- 
tine rowel being used to cany off an inflammation. 



VOL. II. 



Q 



226 



barrington's personal sketches 



THE EIYAL PEACTITIOKEES. 

In addition to my preceding illustrations of the former state of 
medicine and surgery in Ireland, I cannot omit a couple of 
convincing proofs of the intuitive knowledge possessed by Irish 
practitioners in my early days. They present scenes at which I 
was myself present, and one of which was the most distressing 
I had witnessed, while the other was more amusing at its con- 
clusion than any operation I ever saw performed by any either 
of the farriers or colloughs of Ireland. 

Doctor Knaggs, the hero of the second incident, was a tall, 
raw-boned, rough, dirty apothecary ; but he suited the neigh- 
bours, as they said he had " the skill in him," and was " mighty 
successful." Sam Doxy, his patient, was, on the contrary, a 
broad, strong, plethoric, half-mounted gentleman. He had his 
lodge, as he called it, in the midst of a derry (a bog), drank his 
gallon of hot punch to keep out the damp, and devoured 
numerous cock-turkeys and cows that were past child-hearing, 
to keep down the potteen. Every neighbour that could get to 
him was welcome, and the road was seldom in a Jit state to 
permit their going away again quickly. 

The first of these anecdotes I still relate with some pain, 
though forty-five years and more have of course blunted the 
feeling I experienced on its occurrence ; and as I shall soon be 
in the same situation myself as the parties now are, I can, 
comparatively speaking, look lightly on an event which, in 
youth, health, and high blood, was quite chilling to my con- 
templation. 

The father of the late Judge Fletcher of the Common Pleas 
was an actual physician at Mount Mellick, about seven miles 
from my father's. He was a smart, intelligent, and very 



OF HIS OWH TIMES. 



227 



humorous, but remarkably diminutive doctor. He attended my 
father in his last moments, in conjunction with the family 
practitioner, Doctor Dennis Mulhall, whose appearance exactly 
corresponded with that of Doctor Slop, save that his paunch 
was doubly capacious, and his legs, in true symmetry with his 
carcass, helped to waddle him into a room. He was a matter- 
of-fact doctor, and despised anatomy. His features had been so 
confused and entangled together by that unbeautifying disorder 
the small-pox (which I have so often alluded to), that it almost 
required a chart to find their respective stations. 

These two learned gentlemen attended my poor father with 
the greatest assiduity, and daily prescribed for him a certain 
portion of every drug the Stradbally apothecary could supply ; 
but these were not very numerous ; and as even-thing loses its 
vigour by age, so the Stradbally drugs, having been some years 
waiting for customers (like the landlord of the Red Cow in 
"John Bull"), of course fell off in their efficacy, till at length 
they each became what the two doctors ultimately turned my 
poor father into — a caput mortuum. Notwithstanding the drugs 
and the doctors, indeed, my father held out nearly ten days ; 
but finally, as a matter of course, departed this world. I was 
deeply and sincerely grieved. I loved him affectionately, and 
never after could reconcile myself to either of his medical 
attendants. I had overheard their last consultation, and from 
that time to this am of opinion that one doctor is as good as, if 
not better than, five hundred. I shall never forget the dialogue. 
After discussing the weather and prevalence of diseases in the 
count)', they began to consult. " What do you say to the pulveres 
Jacobi t n said Dr. Mulhall (the family physician). 

u We are tliree days too late," smirked Doctor Fletcher. 

"What think you then of cataplasmus, or the flies — Eh! 
Doctor— eh ! the flies ?" said MulhalL 

" The flies won't rise in time," replied Doctor Fletcher ; 
" too late again !" 

" I fear so," said MulhalL 

• Tis a pity, Doctor Mulhall, you did not suggest blistering 



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barrington's personal sketches 



breast and spine sooner ; you know it was not my business, as 
I was only called in — I could not duly suggest." 

" Why/' replied Doctor Mulhall, " I thought of it certainly, 
but I was unwilling to alarm the family by so definitive an appli- 
cation, unless in extremis." 

"We're in extremis now," said Doctor Fletcher — "he! he!" 

" Yery true — very true," rejoined Doctor Mulhall ; " but 
Nature is too strong for art; she takes her way in spite of us !" 

" Unless, like a wife, she's kept down at first," said Fletcher 
—"he! he! he!" 

" Perhaps I was rather too discreet and delicate, doctor ; 
but if the colonel can still get down the pulveres Jacobi — " said 
Mulhall. 

" He can't ! " said Fletcher. 

" Then we can do no more for the patient," replied Mulhall. 

" Nothing more" said Fletcher ; " so you had better break 
your 1 give-over' to the family as tenderly as possible. That's 
your business, you know — there is no use in my staying." And 
so, as the sun rose, Doctor Fletcher jumped into his little 
cabriolet, and I heard him say in parting, " This is no jest, I 
fear, to his family." 

The next day I lost my father ; and never did grief show 
itself more strong or general than on that mournful occasion. 
There was not a dry eye amongst his tenantry. My mother was 
distracted. For more than thirty years that they had been 
united a single difference of opinion was never expressed 
between them. '. His sons loved him as a brother, and the 
attachment was mutual. His person was prepossessing — his 
manners those of a man of rank — his feelings such as became a 
man of honour. He had the mien of a gentleman, and the 
heart of a philanthropist ; but he was careless of his concerns, 
and had too rustic an education. He left large landed estates, 
with large incumbrances to overwhelm them; and thirteen 
children survived to lament his departure. 

After I was called to the bar, Counsellor Fletcher, the 
doctor's son, mentioned before, was in the best of practice. On 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



229 



my first circuit I did liot know him, and of course wished to 
make acquaintance with my seniors. Lord Norbury went cir- 
cuit as judge at the time I went first as barrister ; he there- 
fore can be no juvenile at this time of day. 

Fletcher was, as has already been mentioned, of very un- 
certain humour, and, when not pleased, extremely repulsive. 
The first day I was on circuit he came into the bar-room, per- 
haps tired, or — what was far worse to him — hungry, for nothing 
ruffled Fletcher so much as waiting for dinner. Wishing to 
lose no time in making acquaintance with any countryman and 
brother barrister, and supposing he was endowed with the same 
degree of urbanity as other people, I addressed him in my own 
civil, but perhaps over-vivacious, manner. He looked gruff, and 
answered my first question by some monosyllable. I renewed 
my address with one of the standing interrogatories resorted to 
by a man who wishes to fall into conversation. Another mono- 
syllable. 

I was touched. " You don't know me, perhaps, Counsellor 
Fletcher?" said L 

'* Xot as yet, sir," said Fletcher. 

I was angry. "Then I'll refresh your memory," said I. 
" Your father killed mine." 

The barristers present laughed aloud. 

" I hope you don't mean to revenge the circumstance on me, 
sir?" said Fletcher, with a sardonic smile. 

" That," said I, " depends entirely on your making me an 
apology for your father's ignorance. I forgive your own." 

He seemed surprised at the person he had to deal with, but 
no increase of ire was apparent. He looked, however, rather at 
a loss. The laugh was now entirely against him, when Warden 
Flood (my predecessor in the Admiralty), who was then father 
of the circuit-bar, happened to come in, and formally introduced 
me as a new member. 

After that time Fletcher and I grew very intimate. He had 
several good qualities, and these induced me to put up with 
many of his humours. He was a very clever man, possessing 



230 



barpjngton's personal sketches 



good legal information ; had a clear and independent mind, and 
never truckled to anyone because he was great. He often 
wrangled, but never quarrelled with me, and I believe I was 
one of the few who maintained a sincere regard for him. He 
was intimate with Judge Moore, who now sits in his place, and 
was the most familiar friend I had at Temple. I have alluded 
to Judge Fletcher incidentally, as a public character who could 
not be bribed to support the Union, and was appointed a judge 
by the Duke of Bedford during his short viceroyalty. 

I have introduced Doctor Fletcher's medical practice in my 
glance at the Irish faculty, the more particularly, because I was 
present at another consultation held with him, which was (as I 
hinted at the commencement of this sketch) connected with as 
droll an incident as any could be, little short of terminating 
fatally. 

I rode with Mr. Flood of Eoundwood to the meeting of a 
turnpike-board, held at Mount Eath, a few miles from my 
father's house. One of the half-mounted gentlemen already 
described, Sam Doxy of the Derrys, being on his way to the 
same meeting, just at the entrance of the town his horse 
stumbled over a heap of earth, and, rolling over and over (like 
the somerset of a rope-dancer), broke the neck of his rider. 
The body was immediately, as usual when country gentlemen 
were slain in fox-hunting, riding home drunk at nights, or the 
like, brought on a door, and laid upon a bed spread on the floor 
at the next inn. Mr. Knaggs, the universal prescriber, etc., for 
the town and vicinity, was sent for to inspect the corpse, and 
Doctor Fletcher, being also by chance in the place, was called 
into the room to consult as to the dead man, and vouch that the 
breath was out of the body of Mr. Samuel Doxy of the Derrys. 

The two practitioners found he had no pulse, not even a 
single thump in his arteries, as Doctor Knaggs emphatically 
expressed it. They therefore both shook their heads. His 
hands, being felt, were found to be cold. They shook their 
heads again. The doctors now retired to the window, and 
gravely consulted : first, as to the danger of stumbling horses ; 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



231 



and second, as to the probability of the deceased having been 
sober. They then walked back, and both declared it was " all 
over" with Mr. Doxy of the Derrys. His neck was broken, 
otherwise dislocated ; his marrow - bones (according to Dr. 
Knaggs) were disjointed ; and his death had of course been 
instantaneous. On this decisive opinion being promulgated to 
the turnpike-board, Dr. Fletcher mounted his pony, and left 
the town to cure some other patient. 

The coroner, Mr. Calcut, was sent for to hold his inquest 
before Sam's body coidd be " forwarded " home to the Derrys ; 
and Mr. Knaggs, the apothecary, remained in the room to see 
if any fee might be stirring when his relations should come to 
carry away the dead carcass, when all of a sudden an exclama- 
tion of "by J — s !" burst forth from Mr. Jerry Palmer (already 
mentioned) of Dureen, near Castle Durrow, an intimate ac- 
quaintance of Sam Doxy ; " I don't think he's dead at all. 
My father often made him twice deader at Dureen with Dan 
Brennan's double-proof, and he was as well and hearty again as 
any dunghill cock early in the morning." 

"Not dead!" said Knaggs with surprise and anger. "Is 
not dead, you say ? — Lieutenant Jer Palmer, you don't mean 
to disparage my skill, or injure my business in the town, 
I hope ? There is no more life left in Sam Doxy than in the 
leg of that table." 

The lieutenant bristled up at the doctor's contradiction. 
" I don't care a d — n, Pothecary Knaggs, either for your skill, 
your business, or yourself ; but I say Sam Doxy is not dead, 
and I repeat that I have seen him twice as dead at Dureen, and 
likewise, by the same token, on the day Squire Pool's tenants 
of Ballyfair had a great dinner in Andrew Harlem's big room at 
Maryborough." 

" Pothecary Knaggs " was now much chagrined. " Did you 
ever hear the like, gentlemen of the turnpike-board ?" said he. 
"Is it because the lieutenant was in the American wars that 
he thinks he knows a corpse as well as I do ?" 



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" No, I don't do that same/' said Palmer ; " for they say 
here that you have made as many dead bodies yourself as would 
serve for a couple of battles, and a few skirmishes into the 
bargain. But I say Sam is not dead, by J — s !" 

"Well now, gentlemen," said Knaggs, appealing to public 
candour from the rough treatment of the lieutenant, " you shall 
soon see, gentlemen, with all your eyes, that I am no ignoramus, 
as the lieutenant seems to say." Then opening his case of 
instruments, and strapping a large operation knife on the palm 
of his fist, " Now, gentlemen of the turnpike-board," pursued he, 
" I'll convince you all that Sam Doxy is as dead as Ballagh- 
lanagh.* It's a burning shame for you, Lieutenant Jer Palmer, 
to be after running down a well-known practitioner in this 
manner in his own town. Gentlemen, look here, now ; I'll show 
you that Sam is dead. Living, indeed ! Oh, that's a fine 
story!" 

We all conceived that Doctor Knaggs only intended to try 
to bleed him ; and with this impression flocked round the body. 
Doctor Knaggs turned the corpse on one side, took off the cravat, 
and the neck appeared to have somewhat of a bluish look on 
one side. " Now, gentlemen," said he, " here's the spot (press- 
ing it with his finger) : the spinal marrow is injured, perhaps 
in more places than one, or two either ; the bones are dislocated, 
and the gristle between them is knocked out of its place. The 
formation of a gentleman's neck is just the same as that of a 
horse's tail ; and as most of you have either yourselves docked 
and nicked, or being present at the docking and nicking of the 
tail of a hunter, you'll understand precisely the structure of Sam 
Doxy's vertebrae. Now, gentlemen — all this time placing Sam's 
head in a convenient position to make an incision, or, had the 

* Ballaghlanagh was the name of an old Irish bard (by tradition), whose 
ghost used to come the night before to people who were to be killed fighting in 
battle on the morning ; and as a ghost offers the most convincing proof that the 
mortal it represents is no longer living, the term Ballaghlanagh, came, figura- 
tively, to signify a "dead man." I learned this explanation from the old 
colloughs, who all joined exactly in the same tradition. — {Author's note.) 



'of his own times. 



coroner been present, to cut the head off, for clearer demonstra- 
tion — see, now, I'll just make a slight longitudinal gash along 
the back joints of the neck, and by withdrawing the skin and 
the covering of fat on either side, I'll show as clear as his nose 
the fatal fracture of the spinal cord.'' 

Every person in company now began instinctively to feel 
the nape of his own neck for the spinal cord which the doctor 
was speaking of. " Xo man," resumed Doctor Knaggs, " ever 
recovered when this cord was fairly cracked, and that's the real 
secret of hanging, I assure you ; and it has been remarked that 
no culprit at Maryborough has ever given a kick after he was 
duly strung and the shelf fell, for these three last years since I 
humanely taught the hangman the proper way. The Jerk is the 
thing, gentlemen ; and whether the spine is broken by its being 
pulled up from a man's shoulders by a cord, or thrust down 
into his shoulders by a fall on the head, makes no sort of 
clifference. Xot dead!" resumed he, with a sneer at the lieu- 
tenant : " Gentlemen (everybody came close), now, you see, the 
OTistle which we call cartilage lies between those two bones, 
and the cord runs over and within also. When cut through, 
then, the head, gentlemen, having no support, bobs forward, 
and the dislocation will appear quite plain. See, now," and as 
he spoke he gave a pretty smart gash from the nape of Sam's 
neck downward toward his shoulders ; and proceeding to draw 
back the skin and fat on each side, to get a view of the bones, 
to the surprise of the turnpike-board, the amazement of Doctor 
Knaggs himself, and the triumph of Lieutenant Jer Palmer, a 
stream of warm red blood instantly issued from the gash, and a 
motion appeared in one eyelid of the corpse. 

"By J — s!" shouted the lieutenant, "I told you the man 
was not dead — not a taste of it. Oh ! you diabolical pothecary, 
if you attempt to give another slash, I'll cut your own wezand ; 
and if the poor fellow dies now of this cutting, which I think he 
may, I'll prosecute you for the murder of Sam Doxy of the 
Derrys — a fair honest man, and a friend of my father's S" 



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Doctor Knaggs stood petrified and motionless. 

" Gentlemen/' continued Jer Palmer, " lend me your cravats." 
An immense jug of hot punch was smoking on the hearth ready 
made for the proposed dinner. " I know well enough what to 
do/' said the lieutenant : " my father's own neck was broken two 
years ago, coming home drunk one night from Ballyspellen Spa, 
at the widow Maher's house-warming : his horse tumbled over 
at the Seven Sisters ; but Dr. Jacob soon brought him to again. 
I recollect now all about it. Here, gentlemen, stir, give me your 
cravats ; you have no handkerchiefs I suppose." 

They all obeyed the lieutenant, who immediately plunged 
the cravats into the hot punch, and lapped one of them round 
the dead man's neck, then another over that, and another still, and 
kept dropping the hot punch on them, whereat the blood flowed 
freely. He then, putting his knees to the dead man's shoulder, 
gave his head two or three no very gentle lugs, accompanying 
them in the manner of a view holloa, with " Ough ! Hurra ! 
Hurra ! By J — s he's alive and kicking ! Oh ! you murdering 
thief of a pothecary, get off, or I'll cut your throat !" 

The poor apothecary stood motionless at the window ; for 
Palmer (whom, in his paroxysm, he durst not go near) was be- 
tween him and the door ; but he wished himself a hundred 
miles off. The lieutenant then put a spoonful of the punch into 
Sam Doxy's mouth, and down it went, to the surprise of the 
turnpike-board. In a short time a glassful was patiently re- 
ceived the same way. A groan and a heavy sigh now proved 
the fallibility of Pothecary Knaggs ; and the lieutenant's 
superior treatment was extolled by the whole board. The dead 
man at length opened one eye, then the other ; in about half- 
an-hour he could speak ; and in the course of an hour more 
the broken-necked Doxy was able to sit up. They then got 
some mulled wine and spices for him, and he was quite recovered, 
with the exception of a pain in his head and neck ; but he could 
bear no motion, so they fixed him in an upright position in an 
arm-chair, and Palmer remained with him to perfect his miracu- 
lous cure. We dined in another room. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



235 



Mr. Flood and myself called on Doxy next day, and brought 
"him and Lieutenant Palmer home to Roundwood ; and poor Dr. 
Knaggs' wanting to cut off the head of Mr. Sam Doxy of the 
Derrys became a standing jest, with a hundred embellishments, 
till both have been forgotten. I know not if Knaggs is living. 
Sam Doxy was at last choked by the drumstick of a turkey 
sticking in his throat whilst he was picking it. 



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TKANSFUSION OF BLOOD. 

It has been generally observed that our fellow-subjects who 
sojourn long on the Continent often lose many of their national 
traits, and imbibe those of other countries. The Irish, however, 
present an exception to this rule. I have scarce ever met a 
thorough-paced Irishman whose oddities totally deserted him ; 
the humorous idiom of his language, and the rich flavour of his 
dialect, are intrinsic, and adhere as steadily to his tongue as 
fancy does to his brain and eccentricity to his actions. 

An Irishman is toujours an Irishman, and wheresoever he 
" puts up " seldom fails to find one inveterate enemy — " himself." 
This observation is not confined to the lower or middle classes 
of Hibernians, but occasionally includes the superior orders. 
Like the swine when the demon got into them, Irishmen on the 
Continent keep frisking, pirouetting, galloping, and puffing 
away, till they lose their footing ; and there is scarcely a more 
entertaining spectacle than that afforded by the schemes, devices, 
and humours of a true son of Erin, under these circumstances. 

I was greatly amused by an incident which took place at 
Paris some time since ; it possesses as much of the Irish flavour 
as any bagatelle anecdote I recollect to have met with ; and as 
the parties are above the medium class, well known, all alive, 
and still on the same pave in perfect harmony, the thing is 
rendered more entertaining. 

An Irish baronet of very ancient family (an honour which he 
never suffered any person to be ignorant of after twenty minutes' 
conversation), proprietor of a large Galway territory, garnished 
with the usual dilapidated chateau, brogueless tenantry, manag- 
ing attorneys, and mismanaging agents, having sufficiently 
squeezed his estate to get (as he terms) the juice out of it, deter- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



237 



mined to serve a few campaigns about St. James's Street, etc., 
and try if lie could retrench at the several club-houses and 
" hells " to be met with amidst what is called " high life " in our 
economical metropolis. 

After having enacted with eclat all the parts in the various 
scenes usually performed on that great theatre, he at length 
found that the place was not much cheaper than sweet Glinsk, or 
any old principality of his own dear country. He therefore re- 
solved to change the scene for a more diverting and cheerful one ; 
and by way of a finish, came over to Paris, where any species of 
ruin may be completed with a taste, ease, and despatch unknown 
in our boorish country. 

The baronet brought over three or four thousand pounds in 
his fob, just (as he told me) to try, by way of comparison, how 
long that quantity of the dross would last in Paris* — on which 
point his curiosity was promptly satisfied : " Frascati" and the 
" Salon des Etrangers," by a due application of spotted bones, 
coloured pasteboard, and painted whirligigs, under the superin- 
tendence of the Marquis de Livere, informed him at the termina- 
tion of a short novitiate that nearly the last of Ins "Empereurs" 
had been securely vested in the custody of the said Marquis de 
Livere. 

Though this seemed, prima facie, rather inconvenient, yet the 
baronet's dashing establishment did not immediately suffer 
diminution, until his valet's repeated answer, pas chez lui, began 
to alarm the crew of grooms, goddesses, led captains, etc. 

Misfortune — and he began to fancy this was very like one — 
seldom delays long to fill up the place of ready money when that 
quits a gentleman's service ; and it now seemed disposed to 
attach itself to the baronet in another way. Madam Pandora's 
box appeared to fly open, and a host of bodily ills beset Sir 

* Last year the son of a very great man in England came over to Paris w ith 
a considerable sum in his pocket for the very same purpose. The first thing he 
did was gravely to ask his banker (an excellent and sensible man), " How long 
six thousand pounds would last him in Paris ? " The reply was a true and correct 
one, " If you play, three days ; if you don't, six weeks." — (Authors note.) 



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John, who, having but indifferent nerves, was quite thrown on 
his back. 

Such was the hapless situation of Sir John Burke, while 
exercising his portion of the virtue of patience, in waiting for 
remittances — a period of suspense particularly disagreeable to 
travellers abroad — every post-day being pretty certain to carry 
off the appetite ; which circumstance, to be sure, may be some- 
times considered convenient enough. 

Families from the interior of Hibernia are peculiarly subject 
to that suspense ; and where their Irish agent happens to be an 
old confidential solicitor, or a very dear friend, or a near relation 
of the family, the attack is frequently acute. An instance, in- 
deed, occurred lately, wherein the miscarriage of an Irish letter 
actually caused the very same accident to a new-married lady ! 

The baronet, however, bore up well ; and being extremely 
good-humoured, the surliest creanciers in Paris could not find in 
their hearts for some time to be angry with him ; and so most un- 
reasonably left him to be angry with himself, which is a thousand 
times more tormenting to a man, because sans intermission. 

At length, some of his most pressing friends, who a short time 
before had considered it their highest honour to enjoy the pra- 
tique of Monsieur le Chevalier, began to show symptoms of losing 
temper ; — as smoke generally forebodes the generation of fire, 
something like a blaze seemed likely to burst forth ; and as the 
baronet most emphatically said to me — " The d — d duns, like a 
flock of jack snipes, were eternally thrusting their long bills into 
me, as if I was a piece of bog /" 

Complaisance and smooth words very rarely fail to conciliate 
a Frenchman ; and, after all, the baronet never experienced more 
civil or kinder friends in Paris than some of these very snipes 
who stuck their long bills into him. But "remittances" from 
the county of Galway have been, time immemorial, celebrated 
for the extreme slowness of their movements; and though in 
general very light, they travel more deliberately than a broad- 
wheel waggon. Hence, Sir John Burke's "corporal ills" were 
both perpetuated and heightened by his mental uneasiness. 



OF HIS OVTS TIMES. 



239 



Doctors were called in, in hopes that one or other of them 
might by chance hit upon a remedy ; and Sir John submitted to 
their prescriptions (to use his own words), like a lamb going 
to the slaughter. " I knew very well/' said he, " that one banker 
could do me more good, by a single dose, than all the doctors in 

Paris pu>t together ; — but as my friends Messrs had 

declined to administer any more metallic prescriptions, I really 
feared that my catastrophe was not very distant." 

And, indeed, the doctors, neither jointly nor severally agree- 
ing as to the nature of his symptoms, nor to the necessary mode 
of treatment, after several consul tat ions respecting the weather 
and the icar (as customary), gave Sir John's case up as desperate : 
and having showed the palms of their hands without any favour- 
able result, shook their heads, made each three low and linger- 
ing bows, and left the baronet to settle affairs himself with 
Madam Pandora as well as he could. 

One of these medical gentlemen, however — a fair, square, 
straightforward, skilful nosologist — could not bring himself so 
easily to give up the baronet : he returned ; and by dint of 
medicamenta, phlebotomy, blistering, leeching, cupping, smother- 
ing in vapour, etc. etc. (the pains of the patient's mind, mean- 
while, being overcome by the pains of his body), the doctor at 
last got him through the thing (as they say in Ireland). He was 
not, however, quite free from the danger of a relapse ; and an 
unlucky flask extraordinary of " Epernay sec" (taken to celebrate 
his recover}*) set Sir John's solids and fluids again fermenting, 

knocked down his convalescence, which Dr. T had so inde- 

fatigably re-established, and introduced a certain inflammatory 
gentleman called fever. 

The clergy were now summoned, and attended with an extra 
quantity of oil and water to lighten and prepare the baronet's 
soul for speedy transportation ; some souls, they said, and I 
believe truly, being much easier put into dying order than others. 

The skill of Doctor T , however, once more preserved his 

patient for further adventures, and both physician and baronet 
agreed that, as the priests had done his body none, and his soul 



240 



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no perceptible service, and as holy men were of course above all 
lust of lucre, there was no necessity for cashing them ; so that 
the contemplated fees for masses should in strict justice be trans- 
ferred to prescriptions. A few more bleedings were therefore 
substituted for extreme unction. With the aid of a sound natural 
constitution, Sir John once more found himself on his legs ; and 
having but little flesh, and no fat, his shanks had not much diffi- 
culty in carrying his body moderate distances. 

At the last bleeding, the incident occurred to which the 
foregoing is but matter of induction. The blood which the doctor 
had just extracted from the baronet was about twenty ounces of 
genuine ruby G-alway gore, discharged unadulterated from the 
veins of a high-crested, aboriginal Irishman. It lay proudly 
basking and coagulating before the sun in china basins, at the 
chamber-window. Sir John seeming still rather weak, the 
physician determined to bring all his skill into a focus, discover 
the latent source of indisposition, and if possible at once root it 
out of the baronet's constitution, thereby gaining the double 
advantage of increasing professional fame and the amount of his 
fees. Now, at precisely the same point of time, the baronet was 
inventing an apology for not paying the doctor. 

After musing some time, as every physician in the world 

does, whether he is thinking of the patient or not, Dr. T 

said, " Pray, let me see your tongue, Sir John." 

"My tongue!" exclaimed the baronet, "ah! you might be 
greatly disappointed by that organ ; there's no depending on 
tongues now-a-days, doctor 1 " 

" Yet the tongue is very symptomatic, I can assure you, Sir 
John," pursued the doctor gravely. 

" Possibly, in your part of the world," replied the baronet. 
" But I do assure you, we place very little reliance on tongues 
in my country." 

" You know best," said the doctor coolly : " then, pray let me 
feel your pulse, Sir John," looking steadfastly on his stop-watch, 
counting the seconds and the throbs of the Milesian artery. 
"Heyday ! why, your pulse is not only irregular, but intermits!" 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



241 



" I wish my remittances did not," remarked Sir John, mourn- 
fully, and thinking he had got an excellent opportunity of 
apologising to the doctor. 

The latter, however, had no idea of any roundabout apologies 
(never having been in Ireland), and resumed : " Your remit- 
tances ! ah, ah, Sir John ! But seriously, your pulse is all astray ; 
pray, do you feel a pain anywhere ?" 

" Why, doctor," said Sir John (sticking in like manner to his 
point), u whenever I put my hand into my breeches-pocket, I 
feel a confounded twitch, which gives me very considerable un- 
easiness, I assure you." 

"Hah!" said the doctor, conceiving he had now discovered 
some new symptom about the femoral artery — " are you sure 
there's nothing in your pocket that hurts you, Sir John ? Per- 
haps some" 

u no, doctor," said the baronet rather impatiently ; " there's 
nothing at all in my pocket, Dr. T ." 

" Then the twitch may be rather serious," and the doctor 
looked knowing, although he was still at fault concerning the ec- 
laireisscment. " It is a singular symptom. Do you feel your head 
at all heavy, Sir Jolin — a sensation of weight ?" 

u Not at all," replied the other : " my head is (except my 
purse) the lightest thing I possess at present." 

The disciple of Galen still supposed Sir John was jesting as 
to his purse, inasmuch as the plum-coloured vis-a-vis, with arms, 
crests, and mantlings to match — with groom, geldings, and the 
baronet's white Arabian, still remained at the Hotel de Wagram, 
Roe de la Faix. 

" Ha ! ha ! Sir John," cried he, " I am glad to see you in 
such spirits." 

Nothing, however, either as to the malady or the fees being 
fully explained, it at length flashed across the doctor's compre- 
hension that the baronet might possibly be in downright earnest 
as to his remittances. Such a thought must, under the circum- 
stances, have a most disheartening effect on the contour of any 
medical man in Europe. On the first blush of this fatal suspi- 

VOL. II. R 



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cion the doctor's features began to droop — his eyebrows de- 
scended, and a sort of in utrumque paratus look, that many of 
my readers must have borne when expecting a money letter, but 
not quite sure it may not be an apology, overspread his counte- 
nance, while his nasal muscles puckering up (as in the tic 
douloureux), seemed to quaver between a smile and a sardonic 
grin. 

Sir John could scarcely contain himself at the doctor's ludi- 
crous embarrassment. "By Jove," said he, " I am serious !" 

" Serious ! as to what, Sir John ?" stammered the physician, 
getting out of conceit both with his patient and himself. 

" The fact," said Sir John, " is this : your long and indefa- 
tigable attention merits all my confidence, and you shall have 
it." 

" Confidence I " exclaimed the doctor, bowing, "you do me 
honour ; but" 

"Yes, doctor, I now tell you {confidentially) that certain 
papers and matters called in Ireland cnstodiums* have bothered 
both me and my brother Joseph, notwithstanding all his exer- 
tions for me, as agent, receiver, remitter, attorney, banker, audi- 
tor, and arranger-general ; which said custodiums have given up 
all my lands, in spite of Joe, to the king, as trustee for a set of 
horse-jockeys, Jews, mortgagees, gamblers, solicitors, and annuity- 

* A custodium is a law proceeding in Ireland, not practised much anywhere 
else, and is vastly worse than even an "extent in aid." By one fiction the debtor 
is supposed to owe money to the king : — by another " fiction," the king demands 
his money : — and the debtor, by a third "fiction," is declared a rebel, because he 
does not pay the king. A commission of rebellion then issues in the name of the 
king against the debtor ; and, by a fourth "fiction," he is declared an outlaw, 
and all his estates are seized and sequestered to pay his majesty. A receiver of 
every shilling belonging to the debtor is then appointed by the king's chief baron 
of the exchequer ; every tenant on the estates is served with the "fictions," as 
well as the landlord ; and a debt of one hundred pounds has been frequently orna- 
mented with a bill of costs to the amount of three thousand in the name of his 
majesty, who does not know the least circumstance of the matter. 

There was scarcely a gentleman in the county of Galway, formerly, but was as 
great an outlaw as Robin Hood ; with this difference, that Robin Hood might be 
hanged, and his majesty could only starve the gentleman. — {Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



243 



boys — who have been tearing me to pieces for twenty years past 
without my having the slightest suspicion of their misdemea- 
nours ; and now, doctor, they have finally, by divers law fictions, 
got his majesty to patronise them." 

* But, sir, sir !" interrupted the doctor. 

" I assure you, however," continued Sir John, placidly, " that 
my brother Joe (whose Christian name — between you and me, 
doctor — ought to have been Ulick, after Ulick the Milesian, if 
my mother had done him common justice at his christening) is 
a long-headed fellow, and will promptly bring those infernal 
custodium impostors into proper order." 

" But, sir, sir !" repeated the doctor. 

" One fellow," pursued the baronet, " hearing that Joe in- 
tended to call him out for laying on his papers, has stopped all 
law proceedings already, and made a proper apology. The very 
name of Burke of Glinsk, doctor, is as sounding as Waterloo, in 
the county of Galway." 

" Pardon me, Sir John," said Doctor T , " but what can 

all this have to do with" 

" Xever mind," again interrupted the baronet, catching hold 
of one of the doctor's coat-buttons,'"" " never mind ; I give you 
my word, Joe is a steady, good, clever fellow, and looks two 
ways at everything before he does it — I don't allude to the cast 
in his eye : a horse with a wall-eye, you know, doctor, is the 
very lad for hard work ! — ha ! ha ! ha !" 

The doctor could stand this no longer, and said, " I know 
nothing about wall-eyed horses, Sir John." Indeed, being now 
hopeless, he made the second of the three bows he had deter- 
mined to depart with ; but he found his button still in custody 
between Sir John's fingers, and was necessitated to suspend his 
exit, or leave it behind him. 

* How admirably does Horace describe the grievance of a bore catching hold of 
your button, and making the proprietor a prisoner till his speech is expended ! 

Dr. T told me that the satire came into his head whilst Sir John had him in 

hold, and that in his hurry to emancipate himself, he made a large cut in a new 
surtout, and quite spoiled its beauty. — (Author's note.) 



244 



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"A plan has occurred to me, doctor," said the baronet, 
thoughtfully, " which may not only liquidate my just and 
honourable debt to you for attendance and operations, but must, 
if you are as skilful as I think you are, eventually realise you a 
pretty fortune." 

This, in a moment, changed the countenance of the doctor, as 
a smouldering fire, when it gets a blast of the bellows, instantly 
blazes up and begins to generate its hydrogen. " And pray, sir," 
asked the impatient physician, " what plan may this be ? what 
new bank are you thinking of ?" 

" 'Tis no bank" said Sir John ; " it's a much better thing than 
any bank, for the more you draw the richer you'll be." 

The doctor's eyelids opened wide ; his eyebrows became ele- 
vated, and he drew his ear close to the proposer, that he might 
not lose a single word of so precious an expose. 

''You know," said Sir John, "though you are a Sarnion 
(Guernsey-man) by birth, you must know, as all the world 
knows, that the name of the Burkes or O'Bourkes (Irlandois), 
and their castle of Glinsk, have been established and celebrated 
in Ireland some dozen centuries." 

" I have heard the name, sir," said the doctor, rather 
peevishly. 

" Be assured 'tis the very first cognomen in Ireland," said 
Sir John. 

" Possibly," said the doctor. 

" Nay, positively" rejoined the baronet ; " far more ancient 
than the O'Neils, O'Briens, O'Flahertys, who, indeed, are com- 
paratively moderns. We were native princes and kings several 
centuries before even the term anno Domini was used." 

" I will not dispute it, sir." 

" Nay, I can prove it. I had six-and-twenty quarters on my 
shield without a blot upon either — save by one marriage with 
a d — d Bodkin out of the twelve tribes of Galway, about a hun- 
dred and eighty years ago. We never got over that I" 

" For Heaven's sake, sir," said Doctor T , " do come to 

the point." 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



245 



" Pardon me," said Sir John, " I am on the point itself." 
" As how V* inquired the other. 

" Come here," said Sir John, " and I will soon satisfy you on 
that head :" and as he spoke he led him to the window, where 
three china cups full of the baronet's gore lay in regular order. 
" See ! that's the genuine crimson stuff for you, doctor ! eighteen 
ounces at least of it ; the richest in Europe ! and as to colour — 
what's carmine to it?" 

The doctor was bewildered ; but so passive, he stood quite 
motionless. 

" Xow," continued Sir John, " we are bringing the matter to 
the point. You can guarantee this gore to be genuine Glinsk 
blood : it gushed beautifully after your lancet, doctor, eh! didn't 
it?" 

"What of that, sir?" said Doctor T : "really, Sir John, 

I can stay no longer." 

"You have much ordinary professional practice," said the 
baronet — " I mean exclusive of your noble patients in Eue 
Eivoli, etc. — visits, for instance, to the Boulevard St. Martin, St. 
Antoine, Place de Bastile, De Bourse, etc., which you know are 
principally peopled by brokers with aspiring families ; rich 
nSgocians, with ambitious daughters, etc., who, if they were to 
give five hundred thousand francs, can't get into one fashion- 
able soiree for want of a touch of gentility — not even within 
smell of sweet little Berry's* under nursery-maids. Now," said 
Sir John, pausing a moment, "we're at the point." 

" So much the better," said the man of medicine. 

" I understand that there is a member of the faculty in Paris 
who undertakes the transfusion of blood with miraculous success, 
and has not only demonstrated its practicability, but insists that 
it may by improvement be rendered sufficiently operative to 
harmonise and amalgamate the different qualities of different 

* Sir John is the greatest eulogist of the Duchess of Berry, and has got the 
Legion of Honour for having given up his bed, blankets, and all, to the Duke of 
Berry, somewhere on the road, when they were both running away from Napoleon 
Bonaparte. — (Author's note.) 



246 



barrington's personal sketches 



species of animals. I am told he does not yet despair of seeing, 
by transfusion of blood, horses becoming the best mousers, cats 
setting partridges, and the vulgarest fellows upon earth meta- 
morphosed into gentlemen." 

"Pshaw ! pshaw !" exclaimed Doctor T . 

" Now, I perceive no reason," resumed Sir John, " why any 
man should perform such an operation better than yourself : 
and if you advertise in the Petit Avis that you have a quantity 
of genuine Glinsk O'Bourke gore always at command, to trans- 
fuse into persons who wish to acquire the gentilities and the 
feelings of noblesse, without pain or patent, my blood, fresh 
from the veins, would bring you at least a Nap a spoonful : and 
in particular proportions would so refine and purify the vulgar 
puddle of the bourgeois, that they might soon be regarded (in 
conjunction with their money) as high at least as the half-starvecl 
quatrieme nobility, who hobble down to their sugar and water 
at soirees in the Fauxbourg St. Germain, and go to bed in the 
dark to save candlelight." 

The doctor felt hurt beyond all endurance : he blushed up to 
his very whiskers, sealed his lips hermetically — by a sardonic 
smile only disclosing one of his dog-teeth, and endeavoured to 
depart ; but the button was still fast between Sir John's fingers, 
who begged of his victim not to spare his veins, saying, " that 
he would with pleasure stand as much phlebotomy as would 
make a fortune for any reasonable practitioner." 

This was decisive : the doctor could stand it no longer ; so 
snatching up the toilet scissors, he cut the button clean off his 
new surtout, and vanished without waiting ceremoniously to 
make the third bow, as had always previously been his custom. 

However, the baronet, when Joe (who should have been 
Ulick) afterward sent him over some of the dross, made full 
metallic compensation to the doctor, — and within this last 
month I met them walking together in great harmony. 

This incident, which I had known and noted long before, 
was then repeated by Sir J ohn in the doctor's presence ; and it 
affords the very strongest proof what a truly valuable liquid 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



247 



genuine Irish gore is considered by the chiefs of County 
Galway. 

There is not a baronet in the United Kingdom who (with 
the very essence of good humour) has afforded a greater op- 
portunity for notes and anecdotes than Sir John Burke of Glinsk 
Castle and tilt-yard ; — and no person ever will, or ever can, re- 
late them so well as himself. 

Sir John Burke is married to the sister of Mr. Ball, the pre- 
sent proprietor of Oatlands, commonly called the Golden Ball. 
I witnessed the courtship ; negotiated with the brother ; read 
over the skeleton of the marriage-settlement, and was present at 
the departure of the baronet and his new lady for Borne, to kiss 
the Bope's toe. I also had the pleasure of hailing them on their 
return, as le Marquis and la Marquise de BourJce of the Holy 
Boman empire. Sir John had the promise of a principal ity from 
the Bapal See when he should be prepared to pay his Holiness 
the regulation price for it. At all events, he came back highly 
freighted with a papal bull, a nobleman's patent, holy relics, 
mock cameos, real lava, wax tapers, Boman paving-stones, etc. 
etc. ; and after having been overset into the Bo, and making the 
fortune of his courier, he returned in a few months to Baris to 
ascertain what fortune Ins wife had ; — a circumstance which Ins 
anxiety to be married and kiss the Bope's toe had not given him 
sufficient time to investigate before. He found it very large, and 
calculated to bear a good deal of cutting and hacking ere it 
should quit Ins service — with no great probability of his ever 
coaxing it back again. Sir John's good temper, however, settles 
that matter with great facility by quoting Dean Swift's admir- 
able eulogium upon poverty : — M Money's the devil, and God 
keeps it from us," said the dean. If tins be orthodox, there will 
be more gentlemen's souls saved in Ireland than in any other 
part of his Britannic Majesty's dominions.* 

Brevious to Sir John's marriage, Miss Ball understood, or 
rather had formed a conception, that Glinsk Castle was placed 

* The best thing in this thoroughly characteristic book. Jonah shines 
through every page. 



248 



baeeington's peesonal sketches 



in one of the most cultivated, beautiful, and romantic districts 
of romantic Ireland, in which happy island she had never been, 
and I dare say never will be. Burke, who seldom says any- 
thing without laughing heartily at his own remark, was ques- 
tioned by her pretty closely as to the beauty of the demesne, 
and the architecture of the castle. "Now, Sir John," said 
she, "have you much dressed grounds upon the demesne of 
Glinsk?" 

"Dressed, my love!" repeated Sir John, "why, my whole 
estate has been nearly dressed up these seven years past." 

" That's very uncommon," said Miss Ball ; " there must have 
been a great expenditure on it." 

" Oh, very great," replied the baronet, "very great." 

" The castle," said her future ladyship, " is, I suppose, in good 
order ?" 

" It ought to be," answered Sir John ; " for (searching his 
. pockets) I got a bill from my brother Joe of, I think, two hun- 
dred pounds, only for nails, iron cramps, and holdfasts, for a 
single winter." 

The queries of Miss Ball innocently proceeded, and, I think, 
the replies were among the pleasantest and most adroit I ever 
heard. The lady seemed quite delighted, and nearly expressed a 
wish to go down to the castle as soon as possible. "As Sir 
John's rents may not come in instantly," said she, " I have, I 
fancy, a few thousand pounds in the bank just now, and that 
may take us down and new furnish at least a wing of the 
castle 1" 

This took poor Sir John dreadfully aback. Glinsk was, he 
told me, actually in a tumbling state Not a gravel walk within 
twenty miles of it ; and as to timber, " How the devil," said he, 
" could I support both my trees arid my establishment at the 
same time ? Now," he pursued, " Barrington, my good friend, do 
just tell her what I told you about my aunt Margaret's ghost 
that looks out of the castle window on every anniversary of 
her own death and birthday, and on other periodical occa- 
sions. She'll be so frightened (for, thank God ! she's afraid of 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



240 



ghosts) that she '11 no more think of going to Glinsk than to 
America." 

" Tell her yourself, Sir John," said I j " nobody understands 
a romance better ; and I'm sure, if this be not a meritorious, it is 
certainly an innocent one." 

In fine, he got his groom to tell her maid all about the ghost; 
the maid told the mistress, with frightful exaggerations. Sir 
John, when appealed to, spoke mysteriously of the matter ; and 
the purchase of Glinsk Castle could not have induced Miss Ball 
to put her foot in it afterwards. She is a particularly mild and 
gentlewomanly lady, and, I fancy, would scarcely have survived 
a visit to Glinsk, even if the ghost of Madam Margaret had not 
prevented her making the experiment. 



250 



barrington's personal sketches 



SWEAEING NO VICE. 

Though I have more than ordinary cause to be gratified by the 
reception the first two volumes of this work so unexpectedly met 
with, and am extremely grateful for that reception, yet I am well 
aware that certain starched moralists may conceive, and perhaps, 
prima facie, with reason, that there is too much " imprecation," 
and what the fastidious of Bond Street call vulgarity, introduced 
into the Irish colloquies. I admit that a person who has never 
been in the interior of Ireland, or accustomed to the Irish people 
and their peculiarities, might naturally think so. I therefore 
feel it a duty to such critics to give them at least one or two 
reasons why they should not consider Irish oaths immoral, or 
Irish colloquy vulgar. 

The outrageous blasphemy and indecency so copious in the 
slang of England, with neither wit, point, nor national humour to 
qualify it, might indeed disgust even the seven hundred imps 
whom the devil sent into this world to capture St. Chrysostom. 
The curses and imprecations of Ireland are of a nature totally 
different. They have no great variety ; they are neither pre- 
meditated nor acquired through habits of dissipation. They are 
idiomatic, a part and parcel of the regular language of the 
country, and repeated in other countries as a necessary appen- 
dage to the humour of an Irish story, though they would be 
utterly unadapted to any other people. Walter Scott's delight- 
ful writings, with all the native simplicity and idiomatic dialect 
of the ancient Celtic, would be totally spoiled, for instance, had 
he mingled or introduced in them the oaths and idioms indis- 
pensable as a seasoning to Irish colloquy — an observation 
sufficiently illustrated by the absurd and stupid attempts to 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



251 



imitate Irish phraseology made by English dramatic mimics and 
grimacers. 

Here I am quite prepared for the most severe criticism. 
"Upon my word (the lank-haired puritan will say) this is a 
most dangerous and sinful writer, holding out that an anecdote, 
if it be Irish, would lose its relish if there were neither oaths nor 
imprecations tacked to it. No man can, in the opinion of that 
immoral writer, repeat an innocent Irish story, unless he at the 
same time calls down the wrath of Heaven upon himself ; and, 
moreover, upon such of his auditors as take any pleasure in 
hearing him." 

I know two very young ladies who told me that their 
mammas directed them to skim over any improper parts of the 
Sketches, and that they read every word to find out those 
improper parts. The book, they said, was extremely diverting ; 
and as to the oaths, they never swore themselves, and never 
would, and therefore reading that part could do them no harm. 

My own notions respecting this Irish habit of imprecation 
were illustrated many years ago by an actual dialogue with a 
man of low rank in that country ; and as our conversation bore 
upon a subject of which scarce a day passes without reminding 
me, I have retained its import as if it had taken place yesterday ; 
and though after an interval of more than forty-five years it is 
not to be expected I should repeat the exact words uttered, yet 
I really think my memory serves as to the precise sentences. 

We had got accidentally upon the topic ; and I expressed 
my opinion, as I have already stated it here, that these objection- 
able phrases were merely idiomatic and involuntary — betraying 
no radical or intentional vice. His notion went further ; he 
apologised for the practice not only statistically, but said, with 
characteristic fervour, that the genuine Irish people could not 
" do without it." " Many," said he, " would not mind what was 
said to them unless there was a curse tacked on to the direction. 
For instance, old Xed Doran of Cherry Hill ordered all his 
children, male and female, neither to curse nor swear, as they 
regarded their father's orders, and the consequence was, the 



252 



barrington's personal sketches 



people all said they were going to turn swadlers, and not a maid 
or a labourer would do a farthing's worth of work — for want of 
being forced to do it in the ' owld way.' " 

The man I talked with was a character not very general in 
England, but frequently met with among the Irish commonalty, 
whose acuteness of intellect, naturally exceeding that of English 
labourers, is rather increased by the simplicity of their ideas. 
Self-taught, they turn anything they learn to all the purposes 
that their humble and depressed state can give room for. 

Fortune had denied him the means of emerging from 
obscurity ; and Michael Heney was for many years the faithful 
steward of my father, living with him to the period of his death. 
His station in life had been previously very low ; his education 
was correspondent ; but he had from Nature a degree of mental 
strength which operated in possessing him with a smattering of 
everything likely or proper to be understood by persons of his 
grade. He was altogether a singularity, and would not give up 
one iota of his opinions. To address him as a casuist was the 
greatest favour you could confer on Mick Heney ; and the 
originality of his ideas and promptitude of his replies often 
amused me extremely. 

But for the detail of our dialogue : — 

" Is it not extraordinary, Michael," said I one day (as a great 
number of labourers were making up hay in one of the meadows, 
and Michael and myself were seated on a heap of it), " that those 
poor fellows can scarcely pronounce a sentence without some 
oath to confirm, or some deity to garnish it with V 

" Master Jonah (he never said 1 please your honour ' to any- 
body but his master), sure it's their only way of talking English. 
They can speak very good Irish without either swearing or 
cursing, because it's their own tongue. Besides, all their fore- 
fathers used to be cursing the English day and night for many a 
hundred years ; so that they never used the Sassanagh tongue 
without mixing curses along with it, and now it's grown a 
custom, and they say that the devil himself could not break 
them of it — poor crethurs !" 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



253 



"I should think the devil won't try, Mick Heney." 
"It's no joke, Master Jonah." 

" But," said I (desirous of drawing him out), " they never 
fail to take the name of J — s on every silly occasion. Sure 
there's no reason in that V 1 

" Yes, but there is, Master Jonah," said Heney : M in the owld 
time, when the English used to be cutting and hacking, starving 
and burning the poor Irish, and taking all their lands, cattle, 
and goods from them, the crethurs were always praying to Jesus 
and his holy Mother to save them from the Sassanaghs ; and so, 
praying to Jesus grew so pat, that now they can't help it." 

"But then, Michael," said I, "the commandments!" 

" Poo-o ! what have the crethurs to do with the command- 
ments ? Sure it's the Jews and not the poor Catholics that have 
to do with them ; and sure the parliament men make many a law 
twice as strong as any commandments ; and the very gentlemen 
that made those said laws don't observe their own enactments, 
except it suits their own purposes — though every 'sizes some 
of the crethurs are hanged for breaking one or two of them." 

Heney was now waxing warm on the subject, and I followed 
him up as well as I could. " Why, Mick, I wonder, neverthe- 
less that your clergy don't put a stop to the practice : per- 
petually calling on the name of our Piedeemer, without any 
substantial reason for so doing, is certainly bad." 

"And what better name could they call on, Master Jonah?" 
said Heney. " AVhy should the clergy hinder them ? It's only 
putting them in mind of the name they are to be saved by. 
Sure there's no other name could do them a pennyworth of good 
or grace. It's well for the crethurs they have that same name to 
use. As Father Doran says, pronouncing the glorified name 
puts them in mind every minute of the only friend any poor 
Irish boy can depend upon ; and there can be no sin in remind- 
ing one of the place we must all go to, and the Holy Judge we'll 
be all judged by at the latter end. Sure it's not Sergeant 
Towler,* or the likes of him, you'd have the crethurs swearing 

* Toler, now Lord Norbury, of whom the common people had a great dread. 



254 



barrington's personal sketches 



by, Master Jonah. He makes them remember him plentifully 
when he comes 'to these parts." 

" And even the schoolmasters don't punish young children 
for the same thing," remarked I. 

" Why should they ?" rejoined Michael Heney. "Sure Mr. 
Beal, though he's a Protestant, does not forbid it." 

"How so?" 

" Why, because he says if he did it would encourage dis- 
obedience to their parents, which is by all clergy forbidden as a 
great sin as well as shame." 

" Disobedience !" said I, in wonder. 

" Yes ; the fathers and mothers of the childer generally curse 
and swear their own full share every day, at any rate ; and if the 
master told the childer it was a great sin, they would consider 
their fathers and mothers wicked people, and so despise and fly 
in their faces !" 

" But, surely, you are ordered not to take God's name in 
vain?" 

" And sure," said Heney, " it's not in vain when it makes 
people believe the truth ; and many would not believe a word a 
man said in this country unless he swore to it, Master Jonah." 

" But cursing," persisted I, " is ill-natured as well as 
wicked." 

" Sure there's no harm in cursing a brute beast" said Heney, 
" because there's no soul in it ; and if one curses a Christian for 
doing a bad act, sure it's only telling him what he'll get a taste 
of on the day of judgment." 

" Or perhaps the day after, Michael Heney," said I, 
laughing. 

" The devil a priest in the county can tell that," said Heney ; 
but (looking at his watch) you're playing yonr pranks on me, 
Master J onah. The bells should have been rung for the mowers' 
dinner half-an-hour ago, and be d — d to them ! The devil sweep 
them altogether, the idle crethurs !" 

"Fie to yourself, Mr. Heney!" cried I. But he waited for 
no further argument, and I got out, I really think, the reasons 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



2~)5 



which they all believe justify the practice. The French law 
makes an abatement of fifteen years out of twenty at the galleys, 
if a man kills another without premeditation ; and I think the 
same principle may apply to the involuntary assemblage of oaths 
which, it should seem, has been indigenous in Ireland for some 
centuries past,* 

* The habit of swearing is still disgracefully remarkable in the south of 
Ireland and among the peasantry. All the gentlemen of the south has set a 
remarkable example of abstemiousness from all vulgar vices ; and it is hoped 
their virtues •w ill be followed in the humbler grades. 



256 



B ARLINGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



A BAEEISTEE BESIEGED. 

The late Mr. Curran was certainly one of the most distinguished 
of Irishmen, not only in wit and eloquence, but in eccentricity ; 
of this quality in him one or two traits have been presented to 
the reader in the former part of this work ; and the following 
incident will still further illustrate it. 

The Eeverend Mr. Thomas, whose sobriquet in his neighbour- 
hood was " Long Thomas," he being nearly six feet and a half 
high, resided near Carlow, and once invited Curran and myself 
to spend a day, and sleep at his house, on our return from the 
assizes. We accepted the invitation with pleasure, as he was an 
old college companion of mine — a joyous, good-natured, hospit- 
able, hard-going divine, as any in his county. 

The Eeverend Jack Eead, a three-bottle parson of Carlow, 
with several other jolly neighbours, was invited to meet us, and 
to be treated with the wit and pleasantry of the celebrated 
Counsellor Curran, who was often extremely fond of shining in 
that class of society. 

We all arrived in due time. Dinner was appointed for five 
precisely, as Curran always stipulated, whenever he could make 
so free, for the punctuality of the dinner-bell to a single minute. 
The very best cheer was provided by our host. At the proper 
time the dishes lay basking before the fire, in readiness to receive 
the several provisions all smoking, for the counsellor, etc. The 
clock, which, to render the cook more punctual, had been that 
that very noon regulated by the sun-dial, did not, on its part, 
vary one second. Its hammer and bell melodiously sounded five, 
and announced the happy signal for the banquet. All the guests 
assembled in the dining-room, which was, in honest Thomas's 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



257 



house, that apartment which the fine people of onr day would 
call a drawing-room. 

Every guest of the reverend host having now decided on his 
chair, and turned down his plate, in order to be as near as pos- 
sible to Counsellor Curran, proceeded to whet his knife against 
the edge of his neighbour's, to give it a due keenness for the 
most tempting side of the luscious sirloin, which, by anticipation, 
frizzed upon its pewter dish. Veal, mutton, turkey, ham, duck, 
and partridge, all " piping hot," were ready and willing to leap 
from their pots and spits into their respective dishes, and to take 
a warm bath each in its proper gravy. The cork-screw was 
busily employed, the wine-decanters ornamented the four corners 
of the well-dressed table, and the punch, jugged and bubbling 
hot upon the hearth-stone, perfumed the whole room with its 
aromatic potteen odour. 

Everything bespoke a most joyous and protracted banquet ; 
but, meanwhile, where was the great object of the feast — the 
wheedler of the petty juries, and the admonisher of the grand 
ones ? Where was the great orator, in consequence of whose 
brilliant reputation such a company was collected? The fifth 
hour had long passed, and impatience became visible on every 
countenance. Each guest who had a watch gave his fob no 
tranquillity, and never were timekeepers kept on harder duty. 
The first half-hour surprised the company, the next quarter 
astonished, and the last alarmed it. The clock, by six solemn 
notes, set the whole party surmising, and the host appeared 
nearly in a state of stupefaction. Day had departed, and twilight 
was rapidly following its example, yet no tidings of the orator. 
Never had the like been known with regard to Curran, punctu- 
ality at dinner being a portion of his very nature. There are not 
more days in a leap year than there were different conjectures 
broached as to the cause of my friend's non-appearance. The 
people about the house were sent out on the several roads to 
reconnoitre. He had been seen certainly, in the garden, at four 
o'clock, but never after ; yet every now and then a message came 
in to announce, that " an old man had seen a counsellor, as he 

VOL. a s 



258 



barrington's personal sketches 



verily believed, walking very quick on the road to Carlow." 
Another reported that " a woman who was driving home her cow 
met one of the counsellors going leisurely towards Athy, and 
that he seemed very melancholy ; that she had seen him at the 
'sizes that blessed morning, and the people towld her it was the 
great law preacher that was in it. Another woman who was 
bringing home some turf from the bog declared before the Virgin 
and all the Saints that she saw " a little man in black, with a 
stick in his hand, going toward the Barrow and a collough, 
sitting at her own cabin-door feeding the childer, positively saw 
a " black gentleman going down to the river, and soon afterward 
heard a great splash of water at the said river ; whereupon she 
went, hot-foot, to her son Ned Coyle, to send him thither to see 
if the gentleman was in the water ; but that Ned said, sure enuff 
nothing natural would be after going at that time of the deep 
dusk to the place where poor Armstrong's corpse lay the night he 
was murthered ; and he'd see all the gentlemen in the county to 
the devil (God bless them !) before he'd go to the said place till 
morning early." 

The faithful clock now announced seven, and the matter be- 
came too serious to admit of any doubt as to poor Curran having 
met his catastrophe. I was greatly shocked ; our only conjecture 
now being, not whether, but how, he had lost his life. As Curran 
was known every day to strip naked and wash himself all over 
with a sponge and cold water, I conjectured, as most rational, 
that he had, in lieu of his usual ablution, gone to the Barrow to 
bathe before dinner, and thus unfortunately perished. All 
agreed in my hypothesis, and hooks and a draw-net were sent 
for immediately to Carlow, to scour the river for his body. No- 
body, whatever might have been their feelings, said a word about 
dinner. The beef, mutton, and veal, as if in grief, had either 
turned into broth, or dropped piecemeal from the spit ; the 
poultry fell from their strings, and were seen broiling in the 
dripping-pan. The cook had forgotten her calling, and gone off 
to make inquiries. The stable-boy left his horses ; indeed, all 
the domestics, with one accord, dispersed with lanterns to search 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



259 



for Counsellor Curran in the Barrow. The Irish cry was let 
loose, and the neighbourhood soon collected ; and the good- 
natured parson, our host, literally wept like an infant. I never 
saw so much confusion at any dinner-table. Such of the guests 
as were gifted by Nature with keen appetites suffered all the 
tortures of hunger, of which, nevertheless, they could not in 
humanity complain ; but a stomachic sympathy of woe was very 
perceptible in their lamentations for the untimely fate of so great 
an orator. 

It was at length suggested by our reverend host that his 
great Newfoundland dog, who was equally sagacious, if not more 
so, with many of the parishioners, and rivalled, in canine pro- 
portion, the magnitude of his master, was not unlikely, by diving 
in the Barrow, to discover where the body lay deposited, and 
thus direct the efforts of the nets and hookers from Carlow. 
This idea met with universal approbation ; and everybody took 
up his hat, to go down to the river. Mary, a young damsel, the 
only domestic who remained in the house, was ordered to call 
Diver, the dog ; but Diver was absent, and did not obey the 
summons. Everywhere resounded, "Diver! Diver!" but in 
vain. 

New and multifarious conjectures now crossed the minds of 
the different persons assembled ; the mystery thickened ; all the 
old speculations went for nothing ; it was clear that Curran and 
Diver had absconded together. 

At length, a gentleman in company mentioned the circum- 
stance of a friend of his having been drowned while bathing, 
whose dog never left his clothes, on the bank, till discovered 
nearly dead with hunger. The conjecture founded hereon was, 
however, but momentary, since it soon appeared that such could 
not be the case with Curran. I knew that he both feared and 
hated big dogs ;* and besides, there was no acquaintance between 

* Curran had told me, with infinite humour, of an adventure between him and 
a mastiff when he was a boy. He had heard somebody say, that any person 
throwing the skirts of his coat over his head, stooping low, holding out his arms 
and creeping along backward, might frighten the fiercest dog and put him to 



260 



barrington's personal sketches 



him and the one in question. Diver had never seen the coun- 
sellor before that day, and therefore could have no personal 
fondness for him, not to say that those animals have a sort of 
instinctive knowledge as to who likes or dislikes them, and it 
was more probable that Diver, if either, would be an enemy 
instead of a friend to so great a stranger. But the creature's 
absence, at any rate, was unaccountable, and the more so, inas- 
much as he never before had wandered from his master's 
residence. 

Mary, the maid, was now desired to search all the rooms and 
offices for Diver, while we sat pensive and starving in the 
parlour. We were speedily alarmed by a loud shriek, imme- 
diately after which Mary rushed tottering into the room, just able 
to articulate — 

holy Virgin ! holy Virgin ! yes, gentlemen ! the counsellor 
is dead, sure enough. And I'll die too, gentlemen ! I'll never 
recover it!" and she crossed herself twenty times over in the 
way the priest had taught her. 

We all now nocked round, and asked her simultaneously 
how she knew the counsellor was dead ? 

Crossing herself again, " I saw his ghost, please your rever- 
ence ! " cried poor Mary, " and a frightful ghost it was ! just out 

flight. He accordingly made the attempt cm a miller's animal in the neighbour- 
hood, who would never let the boys rob the orchard ; but found to his sorrow that 
he had a dog to deal with who did not care which end of a boy went foremost, so 
as he could get a good bite out of it. "I pursued the instructions, " said Curran ; 
' ' and, as I had no eyes save those in front, fancied the mastiff was in full retreat ; 
but I was confoundedly mistaken, for at the very moment I thought myself 
victorious, the enemy attacked my rear, and having got a reasonably good mouth- 
ful out of it, was fully prepared to take another before I was rescued. Egad, I 
thought for a time the beast had devoured my entire centre of gravity, and that I 
never should go on a steady perpendicular again." "Upon my word, Curran," 
said I, "the mastiff may have left you your centre, but he could not have left 
much gravity behind him among the bystanders. " 

I had never recollected this story until the affair of Diver at Parson Thomas's, 
and I told it that night to the country gentlemen before Curran, and for a 
moment occasioned a hearty laugh against him ; but he soon floored me in 
our social converse, which whiled away as convivial an evening as I ever 
experienced. — {Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



261 



of the river, and not even decent itself. I'm willing to take my 
affidavy that I saw his ghost, qnite indecent, straight forenent 
me." 

" Where ? where ?" cried everybody, as if with one breath. 

"In the double-bedded room next your reverence's," stam- 
mered the terrified girl. 

We waited for no more to satisfy us either that she was mad, 
or that robbers were in the house ; each person seized something 
by way of a weapon ; one took a poker, another a candlestick, a 
third a knife or fire-shovel, and up stairs we rushed. Only one 
could go in conveniently abreast ; and I was among the first 
who entered. The candles had been forgotten ; but the moon 
was rising, and we certainly saw what, in the opinion of some 
present, corroborated the statement of Mary. Two or three in- 
stantly drew back in horror, and attempted to retreat, but 
others pressed behind^; and lights being at length produced, an 
exhibition far more ludicrous than terrific presented itself. In 
a far corner of the room stood, erect and formal, and stark naked 
(as a ghost should be), John Philpot Curran, one of his majesty's 
counsel learned in the law, trembling as if in the ague, and 
scarce able to utter a syllable, through the combination of cold 
and terror. Three or four paces in his front lay Diver, from 
Newfoundland, stretching out his immense shaggy carcass, his 
long paws extended their full length, and his great head lying 
on them with his nose pointed toward the ghost, as true as the 
needle to the pole. His hind legs were gathered up like those 
of a wild beast ready to spring upon Ins prey. He took an 
angry notice of the first of us that came near him, growled, and 
seemed disposed to resent our intrusion ; but the moment his 
master appeared his temper changed, he jumped up, wagged his 
tail, licked the parson's hand, cast a scowling look at Curran, 
and then a wistful one at his master, as much as to say, " I have 
done my duty, now do you yours ;" he looked, indeed, as if he 
only waited for the word of command to seize the counsellor by 
the throttle. 

A blanket was now considerately thrown over Curran by one 



262 



baeeington's peesonal sketches 



of the company, and he was put to bed with half-a-dozen more 
blankets heaped upon him ; a tumbler of hot potteen punch 
was administered, and a second worked miracles ; the natural 
heat began to circulate, and he was in a little time enabled to 
rise and tell us a story which no hermit even telling his last 
beads could avoid laughing at. 

The fact was, that a little while previous to dinner-time, 
Curran, who had omitted his customary ablution in the morning, 
went to our allotted bed-chamber to perform that ceremony, and 
having stripped, had just begun to apply the sponge, when 
Diver, strolling about his master's premises to see if all was 
right, placed by chance his paw against the door, which not 
being fastened, it flew open, he entered unceremoniously, and 
observing what he conceived to be an extraordinary and suspici- 
ous figure, concluded it was somebody with no very honest in- 
tention, and stopped to reconnoitre. Curran, unaccustomed to 
so strange a valet, retreated, while Diver advanced, and very 
significantly showed an intention to seize him by the naked 
throat ; which operation, if performed by Diver, whose tusks 
were a full inch in length, would no doubt have admitted an in- 
convenient quantity of atmospheric air into his oesophagus. He 
therefore crept as close into the corner as he could, and had the 
equivocal satisfaction of seeing his adversary advance and turn 
the meditated assault into a complete blockade — stretching him- 
self out, and " maintaining his position" with scarcely the slightest 
motion, till the counsellor was rescued and the siege raised. 

Curran had been in hopes that when Diver had satisfied his 
curiosity he would retire ; and with this impression, spoke 
kindly to him, but was answered only by a growl. If Curran 
repeated his blandishments, Diver showed his long white tusks ; 
if he moved his foot, the dog's hind legs were in motion. Once 
or twice Curran raised his hand ; but Diver, considering that as 
a sort of challenge, rose instantly, and with a low growl looked 
significantly at Curran's windpipe. Curran, therefore, stood like 
a model, if not much like a marble divinity. In truth, though 
somewhat less comely, his features were more expressive than 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



263 



those of the Apollo Belvidere. Had the circumstance occurred 
at Athens to Demosthenes, or in the days of Phidias, it is 
probable my friend Curran and Diver would have been at this 
moment exhibited in virgin marble at Florence or at the 
Vatican ; and I am quite sure the subject would have been better 
and more amusing than that of " the dying gladiator." 



264 



barrington's personal sketches 



GEOEGE EOBEET FITZGERALD. 

A very illustrative anecdote of the habits of former times is 
afforded by the celebrated rencontre between George Eobert 
Fitzgerald of Turlow, member for Mayo, and Mr. Richard Martin 
of Connemara, member for Galway County, which occurred 
nearly half-a-century ago. Both were gentlemen of great public 
notoriety ; both men of family and of fortune. But of all the 
contrasts that ever existed in human nature, theirs was in the 
superlative degree ; for modern biography does not present a 
character more eminently vindictive and sanguinary than the 
one, or an individual more signalised by active humanity and 
benevolence than the other. 

With the chief of Connemara I have now been nearly forty 
years in a state of uninterrupted friendship : failings he has — 
" let him who is faultless throw the first stone ! " The character 
I should give of him may be summed up in a single sentence. 
" Urbanity toward women ; benevolence toward men ; and 
humanity toward the brute creation." I must observe, however, 
that he is one of those good fellows who would rather do any- 
body's business than his own ; and durst look anything in the 
face rather than his own situation. As to his charity, I cannot 
say too much ; as to his politics, I cannot say too little. 

His unfortunate antagonist, Mr. Fitzgerald, has long since 
met his miserable fate. Mr. Martin still lives, and seems to 
defy, from the strength of his constitution, both time and the 
destroyer. If ever he should become defunct, there is not a 
bullock, calf, goose, or hack, but ought to go into deep mourning 
for him. 

The virulent animosity and unfinished conflicts between 
these celebrated personages once formed a subject of very 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



265 



general conversation. When the bullets of holster-pistols flat- 
ten against the ribs of a gentleman, there can be no great use 
in fighting any more with him : it is better to break fresh 
ground with some more vulnerable amateur ; and as " fire- 
eating " was at the period I allude to in full taste and fashion, 
no person who felt a penchant for clnvalry need wait a single 
hour for a thrust. Every gentleman then wore his sword or 
couteau de chasse, which there could be no trouble in drawing. 

I was quite unacquainted with the true state of the quarrel 
between these parties, or the facts of their rencontres, and have 
begged my friend Martin to give me a circumstantial detail, lest 
I might mistake and be called a " bouncer." He was so obliging 
as to comply ; and I conceive that his MS. statement is so per- 
spicuous and fair, almost amounting to perfect impartiality — in 
that conversational style, too, best calculated for narrative — that 
I determine to give it in nearly the same words ; and when it is 
combined with a few facts which I learned from another friend, 
I venture to think that a better outline of Mayo and Galway 
lords, commoners, judges, country gentlemen, and fire-eaters, 
cannot be found. As, however, there is nothing in it chivalrous 
in the ladies' way — the whole being about hate, with not one par- 
ticle respecting love, I fear it will not be a favourite sketch with 
the gentler part of the creation. To make them amends, I'll 
search my old trunks, and find if possible some pretty sketch 
that has nothing Intt love or marriage in it, which they shall have 
as well dressed and garnished as they can reasonably expect from 
so old a cuisinier; and now, with their kind permission, we will 
proceed to County Mayo. 

" George Robert Fitzgerald having a deadly hate to all the 
Brown family, but hating most Lord Altamont, rode up one 
morning from Turlow to Westport House, and asked to see the 
big wolf-dog called the 'Prime Sergeant.' When the animal 
appeared, he instantly shot it, and desired the servants to tell 
their master that ' until the noble peer became charitable to the 
wandering poor whose broken meat was devoured by hungry 
wolf-dogs, he would not allow any such to be kept.' He, how- 



266 



barrington's personal sketches 



ever, left a note to say that he permitted Lady Anne, Lady 
Elizabeth, and Lady Charlotte Brown, each to keep one lap-dog. 

"Proud of this exploit, he rode into Lord Sligo's town of 
Westport, and proclaimed in the market-place that he had just 
shot the Prime Sergeant dead. The whole town was alarmed ; 
an uproar arose ; but after some debate among the wisest or 
rather the stoutest people in the town, whether George Eobert 
Fitzgerald ought not to be arrested if possible for this deliberate 
murder of Counsellor Brown, he quieted all by saying, ' I have 
shot a much worthier animal, the big watch-dog.' * 

" I was at this time much attached to the family, and debat- 
ing in my own mind how best to conduct myself toward my 
friends, I determined not to tell George Eobert my opinion, as it 
would be in effect to declare that Lord Altamont wanted courage 
to defend his own honour. I therefore resolved on seeking some 
more plausible ground of quarrel, which soon presented itself ; 
for at the summer assizes of Mayo, holden at Castlebar, Charles 
Lionel Fitzgerald prosecuted his elder brother George Eobert for 
false imprisonment and savage conduct toward their father, upon 
whom George Eobert had fastened a chain and dray I 

" The affair came on before Lord Carleton, and I volunteered 
in the only cause I ever pleaded, t 

" An affidavit was produced, stating that the father was not 
confined. I observed ' that Eobert Fitzgerald had long notice of 
this cause coming on, and that the best answer would be the 
attendance of the father when he was called as one of the magi- 
strates in the commission for the county of Mayo.' 

* The Prime Sergeant of the Irish bar was then Lord Sligo's brother — a huge, 
fat, dull fellow ; but the great lawyer of the family. Prime Sergeant Brown was 
considered as an oracle by the whole county of Mayo ; yet there could scarcely be 
found a man less calculated to tell fortunes. The watch-dog was named after him. 

t Mr. Richard Martin had been called to the Irish bar, as the eldest sons of 
the most respectable families of Ireland then were, not, as might be supposed, to 
practise for others, but with a supposition that they would thereby be better 
enabled to defend their own territories from judgments, mortgages, custodiums, 
etc. etc., and "to stave off" vulgar demands, which if too speedily conceded, 
might beget very serious inconveniences. — {Author's note.) 



OF HIS TIMES. 



267 



" Eemesius Lennon, a battered old counsellor, on the other 
side, observed that the father was one of the worst men living, 
and that it would be unjust to censure any son for confining such 
a public nuisance. 

" I opposed putting off the trial of George Robert, and con- 
cluded to this effect : — ' Though believing that in course of a 
long life this wretched father had committed many crimes, yet 
the greatest crime against society and the greatest sin against 
Heaven that he ever perpetrated, was the having begotten the 
traverser.' 

" On this, George Robert said, smiling, ' Martin, you look 
very healthy, you take good care of your constitution; but I tell 
you that you have this day taken very bad care of your life! 

" The trial went on ; and it was proved, among a great num- 
ber of other barbarities, that the father was chained by his son 
George Robert to a dray, and at times to a muzzled bear. A 
respectable jury found the traverser guilty, and Lord Carleton 
sentenced him to three years' imprisonment, and to pay a fine to 
the king of five hundred pounds. 

" 1 Kissing' at this time went 'by favour and Mr. Conolly, 
the brother-in-law of George Robert, obtained from the late 
Duke of Buckingham, then Lord-Lieutenant, the pardon and 
release of Fitzgerald. 

" Some months after, I happened to pass through Castlebar, and 
learned that Mr. Fitzgerald was in the town. I had heard of his 
denunciations, but my determination was neither to avoid nor 
seek my antagonist. Desirous of ascertaining what I had to ex- 
pect, I requested a friend to call on him, and, after conversation 
on some ordinary subject, to say that / had been in the town. 

"This was done, and George Robert answered, 'that he 
hoped, whenever we met, it would not be as enemies' 

" My friend reported this. But, on the whole, I thought it 
as well not to seek any occasion of meeting a person who, I 
apprehended, might, so soon after our dispute, be induced to 
depart from his pacific resolution. I therefore proceeded on my 
journey to Dublin. 



268 



baeeington's personal sketches 



" Mrs. Crawford, I found, had been engaged to play for a 
few nights at Crow Street Theatre, and I determined to see her 
Belvidera. I had not long taken my seat in the front row of 
the stage-box when I heard a noisy, precipitate step, and an 
order given in a commanding tone for the box to be opened. I 
turned and saw Mr. Fitzgerald, who took his place on the next 
row. His look indicated rage, and I therefore left my place in 
front and took my seat on the same row with him. He stared 
for a moment or two directly into my face, then turned away 
and laughed, on which I asked, ' Have you anything particular 
to say to me, Mr. Fitzgerald?' 

" He answered, with a stern look of defiance, ' Only to tell 
you that I followed you from Castlebar to proclaim you the 
bully of the Altamonts.' 

" ' You have said enough, Mr. Fitzgerald. You no doubt 
expect to hear from me, and it shall be early in the morning.' 

"// shall hear from you to-morrow!' he repeated con- 
temptuously, making, as he spoke, a blow at me, and adding, 
' This will refresh your memory.' He then pulled back his body 
from behind the curtain of the box, and instantly retreated 
toward the lobby. 

" My feet got entangled in the curtain when I rushed out to 
follow my antagonist, and I fell upon the floor. The present 
Lord Howden, then Major Craddock, kindly lifted me up. 
When on my feet I sprang into the lobby, which was crowded 
almost to an overflow. I uttered all that rage could dictate, 
accused Fitzgerald of cowardice, and told him he had created 
the present scene in order that we should be both bound over to 
the peace. 

" ' You have got a blow,' replied he. ' I desire to disgrace 
you ; and when you are punished to my liking that way (and 
not before) you shall have the satisfaction of being shot, or run 
through the body.' 

" Next day, I met the late Lord Donoughmore, and he most 
kindly said, if I required it, he would deliver a message to 
Fitzgerald. I said, ' No, I could not think of embroiling any 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



269 



friend of mine with snch a fellow — that I would wear my sword, 
and trust to my opportunities of meeting Fitzgerald.' 

" I watched his house closely for several days, but he did 
not appear. At this critical moment a Mr. George Lyster 
called upon me, and said he would take my message to Fitz- 
gerald. 

"I answered, 'that of all things I most desired to meet 
him ; that I found I could not unkennel the fox ; and that I 
would thank whomsoever should sueceed in putting us face to 
face.' I was, however, cautious of employing Lyster, knowing 
him to be Fitzgerald's cousin, and supposing it possible he 
might have been employed by Fitzgerald himself. This 
induced me to try him, and to say, * As you have offered to go 
to this gentleman, I will thank you to appoint the earliest 
moment for a meeting.' 

" Mr. Lyster drew not back, but went to his cousin's house, 
and was ushered by one of the servants into the drawing-room. 
Mr. Fitzgerald shortly entered, and as soon as Mr. Lyster hinted 
his business, our hero desired the footman to send one of the 
valets. When the latter entered, Fitzgerald said, 'Francis, 
bring my cudgel with the green riband.' When Fitzgerald got 
this weapon, he addressed his relative thus — 1 How dare you 
bring a message to me ? Hold out your finger with the diamond 
ring upon it ! ' Poor Lyster obeyed, ignorant of his design, and 
with one blow Fitzgerald broke the finger and the band of the 
ring, which fell on the floor. ' Now,' proceeded he, ■ I order you 
to take up the ring, and present it to me.' As if thunderstruck, 
Lyster obeyed. When Fitzgerald got possession of the ring, he 
put it into paper, and returned it to Lyster, saying, 'Young 
fellow, take care of the ring! put it up very safe, and don't 
swear I robbed you of a present from some fair one/ 

M This dialogue (recounted to me by Lyster himself) was 
followed by several blows, which cut and battered the young 
man severely. At last he rushed to the window, drove his 
head through a pane of glass, and cried out for assistance. The 
police, hearing the cry, soon assembled ; and not finding any of 



.270 



barringto-n's personal sketches 



the city magistrates, they having seized both parties, conducted 
them into the presence of Mr. Justice Eobinson. 

"The judge first heard Lyster, and seeing him severely 
bruised, and supposing his skull might be fractured, declared 
that the prisoner could not be bailed. 

" Fitzgerald now, on the other hand, asked to have his 
examination entered against Lyster. He stated 'that Lyster 
was his relative, and protected by him, and that I had influenced 
the young man to deliver a message from me.' He said ' that 
Mr. Lyster had delivered such a message. That he had answered 
mildly that he would not fight Mr. Martin ; whereon (says 
Fitzgerald) this young gentleman said, ' Then you must fight 
me! My answer was that I would not fight any man; on 
which, continued George Eobert, he made several blows of the 
cudgel I hold in my hand (his own) at me. I happened to be 
more dexterous than my assailant, and was fortunate enough to 
take the weapon out of his hands, and in my own defence was 
obliged to strike in turn, or I should have been murdered.' 

" The old judge, believing every word of so plausible a state- 
ment, said, 'I have heard enough; I commit Lyster for trial, and 
bind over Mr. Fitzgerald to prosecute ; and I do so, expressing 
my approbation of Mr. Fitzgerald's manly conduct in refusing to 
fight Mr. Martin, and thus appealing for redress to the laws of 
his country.' 

" Shortly after this curious scene, I heard that Fitzgerald 
was at Castlebar, and had it intimated to him. that I should be 
there. I travelled with Mr. H. Flood* in his carriage, and he 
kindly offered to be my friend, which I declined — fearing to 
have exposed him to some insult. 

" I had sent my duelling pistols by a fellow who got drunk 
on the road, and forgot his errand ; — so that I remained some 
hours at Lord Lucan's house, expecting in vain their arrival, 
during which period I heard that Mr. Fitzgerald was parading 

* This was the celebrated Henry Flood, the antagonist of Grattan — certainly 
the ablest statesman of his day. He had himself fought more than once ; and 
had killed Mr. Eager, the father of Lord Clifden of Gowran. — {Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



271 



the town with a number of persons from Turlow, his own estate, 
famous for its mobs trained to every kind of outrage. I heard, 
too, that he said I waited for Lord Altamont's carriage, which, 
observed he significantly, would not arrive. Here I have to re- 
mark that I had written a note to Lord Altamont, to say that I 
would gladly compound for a slight wound in the expected 
affair, and that I requested his carriage might be in waiting for 
me at Castlebar, winch is only eight miles from Westport. 
George Kobert had heard this, and said to the mob, ' Mr. Martin 
expects Altamont's carriage, but he may wait long enough ; for 
though the horse is a brave animal, I fancy Altamont's are like 
the owner, and will not stand the smell of powder.' 

" These taunts reached me ; and procuring a case of the 
common holster-pistols my servant rode with, I determined to 
use them ; but they were so stiff in the trigger that I could 
hardly let them off. I fastened on my sword, and putting my 
hand under Doctor Merlin's arm, walked into the town, and 
soon saw Fitzgerald, followed by his mob. He too wore his 
sword, and I instantly told him to draw. He answered that he 
was lame, the pavement bad, and that he could not keep his 
footing ; that I had Lord Lucan's mob on my side ; and that, in 
short, he would not fight me. 

" I then said, ' You will find me in the barrack-yard, where 
I shall remain.' 

" ' I shall be in no hurry, after having struck you for your 
pertness,' said he. 

"On this I flung a switch into his face, walked to the 
barrack, and got sentries posted, with orders to keep out all 
persons but Mr. Fitzgerald and his friend, whilst we should be 
fighting. He and Mr. Fenton soon appeared : he had a good 
case of pistols in his hand, while I had the wretched tools I 
named. 

" I stood against a projecting part of the barrack-wall, and 
desired Mr. Fitzgerald to come as close as he pleased. He said 
a cannon would not carry so far. I answered, ' I will soon cure 
that, for I will now march up until I lay my pistol to your face.' 



272 



barrington's personal sketches 



I accordingly advanced, until our pistols touched. We both 
fired : he missed me, but I hit him full in the breast, and he fell 
back, supporting himself by a projection of rock, and exclaim- 
ing, ' Honour, Martin, honour ! ' 

" I said, — ' If you are not disabled, I will wait as long as you 
choose ! ' 

" At this moment, he couched treacherously like a cat, pre- 
sented, fired, and hit me. I returned the fire, and hit him ; he 
again recovered, came up, begged my pardon, asked to shake 
hands, and said, ' Altamont has caused all this, and now would 
not send you his carriage let us both kick him !' 

" Flood met me at the gate, and I leaned on him. I was 
taken to Doctor Lendser's to have the wound dressed, but on 
the way desired my servant to go with my compliments and in- 
quire how Mr. Fitzgerald felt. Mr. Flood said, ' On no account 
make any inquiry, or, if he lives, you will have a second fight.' 
I was foolish, as will appear, and sent. 

" I had not been many moments in bed when my hero 
entered the room with a careful, timid step. He said, • Doctor, 
how do you find Mr. Martin?' I was quite surprised, but said, 
* I am very well, and hope you are not badly hurt.' 

" He then addressed me, and observed, ' Doctor Merlin in- 
sulted me, and I consider him a bully, and instrument of yours, 
and as such I will make you accounta.ble.' 

" I answered, c If I account with you, on a mutual under- 
standing that Doctor Merlin is beneath your notice, I shall have 
to fight him also for such an imputation : — so put your renewed 
quarrel on some other ground. If you say you did not ask my 
pardon, I will fight you again ; or if you say you are fond of 
such an amusement, I will fight c until my eyelids can no longer 
wag.' 

Shall you be at Sligo V was Mr. Fitzgerald's reply. 

" I said, - It was not my present purpose ; but, if he wished 
it, I would be there, and that immediately.' 

" He named the day, to which I assented. It was reported, 
but I cannot vouch for the fact, that a party was sent to inter- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



273 



cept and murder me. Shortly after I reached Sligo my opponent 
sent Sir M. Crafton to say, that 1 Mr. Fitzgerald did not require 
any further renewal of the quarrel and thus the affair ended. 
My surprise at Fitzgerald's being alive and well, after having 
received two shots from horse-pistols full upon him, was soon 
cleared up — he had plated his hoely, so as to make it completely 
bullet-proof. On receiving my fire he fell from the force of the 
balls striking hini direct, and touching his concealed armour. 
My wound was in the body. 

" The elegant and gentlemanly appearance of this man, 
as contrasted with the savage treachery of his actions, was 
extremely curious, and without any parallel of which I am 
aware." 



VOL. II. 



T 



274 



barrington's personal sketches 



EECEUITING AT CASTLEBAE. 

There were few men who flourished in my early days that 
excited more general or stronger interest than Mr. George 
Eobert Fitzgerald of Turlow, the principal object of the pre- 
ceding sketch. He was born to an ample fortune, educated in 
the best society, had read much, travelled, and been distinguished 
at foreign courts ; he was closely allied to one of the most popu- 
lar, and also to one of the most eminent, personages of his own 
country, being brother-in-law to Mr. Thomas Conolly of Castle- 
town, and nephew to the splendid, learned, and ambitious Earl 
of Bristol, Bishop of Deny ; yet, so powerfully did some demon 
seize upon his mind, and, let us hope, disorder his intellect, that, 
though its starting was thus brilliant, his life presented one con- 
tinuous series of outrage, and his death was a death of ignominy. 

I have neither space nor inclination to become his general 
biographer — in truth, he has never, to my knowledge, had any 
true one.* Both his friends and enemies are now all nearly hors 
de combat. I know but two contemporaries capable of drawing 
his portrait ; and in the words of one of these I have recited an 
anecdote not unworthy of being recorded. I always conceive 
that a writer, characterising the nearly exhausted generation of 
which he has been a contemporary, resembles a general who 
dates despatches from the field of battle, wherein he details the 
actions and merits of his friends or enemies, while the subjects 

* I have read, in biographical books, George Robert Fitzgerald described as a 
great, coarse, violent Irishman, of ferocious appearance and savage manners. His 
person and manners were totally the reverse of this — a more polished and elegant 
gentleman was not to be met with. His person was very slight and juvenile, his 
countenance extremely mild and insinuating ; and, knowing that he had a turn 
for single combat, I always fancied him too genteel to kill any man except with 
the small-sword. — (Authors note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



275 



of the bulletin lie gasping or quite dead before him, and he 
himself only awaiting the fatal bullet which, even while he 
writes, may send him to his comrades. This is my own case ! 

The singular life and miserable death of Mr. Fitzgerald form 
an historic episode which the plan and character of this work 
will neither admit of my detailing nor altogether passing over. 
The consideration of his career and catastrophe arouses in the 
memory acts and incidents long since erased from ordinary 
recollection, and thus, like a mirror, reflects the manners of the 
age wherein he lived. 

While George Iiobert Fitzgerald was undergoing a part 
of his sentence in Newgate, Dublin,* his brother, Charles 
Lionel, got possession of the house and demesne of Turlow, 
near Castlebar, County Mayo, one of the most lawless places 
then in Ireland. George Iiobert, as hinted in the former sketch, 
had armed and organised a band of desperadoes, who knew no 
will but his, and had no desire but Ins pleasure. All men were 
in awe of them, and the regular army alone was then held 
sufficient to curb then outrages. When their leader was con- 
victed and imprisoned their spirit was somewhat depressed ; but 
idleness and vice were by habit so deeply engrafted in their 
minds, that peaceable or honest means of liveliliood were 
scouted by them. They were at length proclaimed outlaws ; 
the military chased them ; and ultimately a sort of treaty took 
place, which, like our modern diplomatic negotiations, exhibited 
only one party endeavouring to outwit the other. The despe- 
radoes agreed to give up all their wild courses on a promise of 
pardon ; a great proportion declared they would " take on" for 
a musket ; and, as the army had no objection to receive robbers 
and murderers to fight for their king, country, and religion, their 
offer was accepted. 

About this time my military propensities were not totally 

* Having been tried and convicted of a most unparalleled series of assaults 
upon, and imprisonment of, his own father, he was sentenced to three years' im- 
prisonment ; but, as we have before stated, was pardoned in six months, to the 
disgrace of the government. — {Author's note.) 



276 



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extinguished, but susceptible of being rekindled by proper 
stimuli, and Dean Coote, brother to Sir Eyre Coote, then com- 
mander-in-chief in India, sent to my father, and made him what 
my family considered a magnificent offer — namely, that one of 
his sons should forthwith receive a captain's commission in the 
East India Company's service, on recruiting a hundred men for 
that service, and for each of which recruits, if the number were 
completed, twenty guineas should be paid on their being handed 
over to the depot in Dublin. 

In acknowledgment of this nattering offer my father imme- 
diately nominated me. I now almost fancied myself a nabob, or 
something better, helping to plunder and dethrone a few of the 
native princes, then quite plentiful, and considered fair game by 
the Honourable Company's servants, civil and military. I with 
joy accepted the proposition, fully expecting in four or five 
years to return loaded with lacs of rupees, and carats of 
diamonds, and enabled to realise all my visions of ulterior happi- 
ness. The Dean also sent me the " beating order" and instruc- 
tions, with a letter of introduction, and a strong recommendation 
to Mr. Lionel Fitzgerald, then residing at Turlow, requesting he 
would aid me in enlisting his brother's outlaws for the Com- 
pany's service, of whom above eighty had promised to accept the 
king's money on terms of pardon. All now went on prosper- 
ously ; the tenants of Cullenagh brought in every shilling they 
could rap or run, to set the young captain a-spinning ; and in a 
week I was on my road, through frost and snow, to the county 
of Mayo. My father's old huntsman, Matthew Querns, was 
selected to attend me as being most sensible, at least among the 
domestics of the family. 

Matthew was attired in his best field-clothing — namely, a 
green plush coat, scarlet laced waistcoat of old times, buckskin 
breeches, and a black leather hunting-cap. He carried my 
portmanteau, with my volunteer broadsword buckled to it, be- 
hind him, and his own hunting-horn was strapped by a belt about 
his middle. This he sounded at every inn-door, as he said, to 
make us respectable. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



211 



I was mounted on a large white horse called Friday, after 
Robinson Crusoe's Hack boy. A case of huge holster-pistols 
jogged before me, and my cavalry coat-case behind, containing 
my toilet, flints, a bullet-mould, my flute, my beating order ; 
with, to amuse leisure-hours, a song-book, and the Sentimental 
Journey (then in high vogue, being totally new both in style and 
subject). Thus caparisoned and equipped the late Matthew 
Querns and the present Sir Jonah Barrington set out, fifty years 
ago, for the purpose of enlisting robbers and outlaws in Mayo to 
plunder Gentoos in the Carnatic, and establish the Christian 
religion on the plains of Hindostan. 

At that period of my life cold or fatigue was nothing when I 
had an object in view, and at the end of the third day's trotting 
we arrived, through deep snow, bog-roads, and after some 
tumbles (miserably tired), at a little cabin at Hallymount, near 
the plains of Kilcommon, where many a bloody battle had been 
fought in former times ; and, as the ground was too rocky to dig 
graves, thousands of human skeletons had been covered up with 
stones, of which there is no scarcity in any, particularly that part 
of Ireland. Our reception was curious ; and, as affording an 
excellent idea of the species of inns and innkeepers then preva- 
lent in Ireland, I shall sketch one of the oddest imaginable 
places of " entertainment for man and horse," which notification 
was written in large letters over the door ; and the house cer- 
tainly did not belie it. 

The landlord was a fat, red-nosed, pot-bellied, jovial fellow, 
the very emblem of good nature and hospitality. He greeted 
me cordially before he knew anything about me, and said I 
should have the best his house afforded, together with a hearty 
welcome (the welcome of an innkeeper indeed is generally very 
sincere). He also told Matthew that he never suffered his bin of 
oats in the stable to be closed, always leaving it to gentlemen's 
beasts to eat at their own discretion, as he'd engage they would 
stop of themselves when they had got enough ; and the more 
they ate at one meal, the less they would eat the next ; so he 
should be no loser. 



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The inn consisted of cabins on the ground-floor only, and a 
very good hard dry floor it certainly was. The furniture was in 
character ; but my bed (if I were to judge from its bulk and 
softness) had the best feathers of five hundred geese at least in 
it ; the curtains had obviously once been the property of some 
greater personage than an innkeeper, as the marks of embroidery 
remained (on crimson silk), which had been carefully picked out, 
I suppose, to sell the silver. My host begged I would not trouble 
myself as to dinner, as he knew what was good for me after so 
bad a journey, He protested that, so far as poultry, game, and 
lobsters went, no man in Mayo could beat him ; and that he had 
a vessel of Powldoody oysters which was sent him by Squire 
Francis Macnamara, of Doolan, for old acquaintance sake. 

I promptly asked for a bottle of his best wine ; but he told 
me he never sold a single bottle to a gentleman, and hoped I 
would have no objection to two. Of course I acquiesced, though 
intending to dine alone, and only to drink the half of one. I 
was therefore surprised to see shortly a spruce young maid- 
servant lay out the table for six persons, with everything in 
good order ; and, on dinner coming in, my landlord introduced 
his old wife, two smart pretty daughters, and his son, by no 
means a " promising boy." He uncorked both bottles at once, 
and no persons ever fared more sumptuously. The wine, he said, 
was the finest old claret, of the " real smuggling" by Sir Neil 
O'Donnel's own cutter called Paddy Whack, from the Isle of 
Man ; and Sir Neil (a baronet of Newport) never sent a bad 
hogshead to any of his customers. His honour's brandy, likewise, 
was not a jot worse than his claret, and always tasted best of a 
cold morning. 

We had got deep into our second bottle, of which the ladies 
took a glass each, while the young gentleman drank a bumper of 
brandy, when my host, who knew everybody and everything 
local, gave me the life, adventures, and character, of almost each 
person of note in that county, including numerous anecdotes of 
George Eobert, which originated in and were confined to the 
neighbourhood. He laughed so heartily at his own stories, that 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



279 



it was impossible not to join him. Tea and hot-cakes followed. 
A roast goose, brandy-punch, and old ale, made the supper, and 
I retired to bed hearty and careless. 

Next morning I was roused rather early by a very unex- 
pected guest — namely a hen, which, having got into my room, 
layed a couple of eggs at once on my coat, which lay beside me ; 
and then, as hens accustom themselves to do (and it is no bad 
practice), she gave as loud and protracted a notice of her 
accouchement as her voice could furnish. 

I immediately rose, brought out my two eggs to our break- 
fast-table, and was expressing my surprise at the circumstance, 
when Miss Betty Jennings winked, and whispered me that it 
was a standing joke of her father's. The breakfast was nearly 
as good as the dinner had been the previous day ; and on pro- 
curing my bill, I found I was charged eighteen pence for dinner, 
eighteen pence for claret, tenpence for my horses, sixpence for 
my breakfast, and nothing for the rest, though Matthew Querns 
had got dead drunk, my horses were nearly bursting, and I was 
little better myself. My host told me, when a guest who would 
drink with him had a bottle of claret, he always indulged in one 
himself ; and that if I had drunk two, he should have thought 
it mighty uncivil if he had not done the same. I left his house 
with an impression that he was the most extraordinary inn- 
keeper I had ever met with, and really bade adieu to himself 
and his daughters with regret.* 

Arriving in the course of the day at Turlow, I found that the 
whole family were at Castle Magarret ; but Mr. Fitzgerald had 
got a letter about me, and all was ready for my reception. I 

* Both Mr. Jennings' daughters were pretty and pleasant girls. I observed 
Miss Betty mending silk stockings, which was rather odd at the plains of Kilcom- 
mon. I told her I fancied she was kind-hearted, and had an uncommon degree 
of sense for her years, and she firmly believed me. I made her a present of the 
" Sentimental Journey," which I had in my coat-case. I construed the French 
for her (except two words) ; and on my return she told me it had taught her what 
sentiment was ; that she found she had a great deal of sentiment herself, but did 
not know the name of it before ; and that she would always keep the book in kind 
remembrance of the donor. — {Author's note.) 



280 



barrington's personal sketches 



found I was left to the care of one Hughy Hearn, who had been 
a Serjeant of the band, but had changed sides and come over to 
Mr. Lionel at Turlow, after losing one of his arms in some skir- 
mish for George Eobert. I did not know who Hughy was at 
the time, or I should have kept aloof from him. 

" Mr. Hearn," said I, next day, " have you a gun in the 
house ? I should like to go out." 

" I have, captain," said he. 

" Have you powder and shot ?" said I. 

" No powder," said Hughy. I fired all I had left of it last 
night at a man whom I saw skulking about the road after night- 
fall." 

" Did you hit him?" asked I, rather alarmed. 

" I can't say," replied Hughy : " there was only one bullet in 
it, and it's not so easy to shoot a man with a single bullet when 
the night is very dark — and I'm hard set to aim with one arm, 
though I dare say I all as one as scratcht him, for he cried out, 
' Oh ! bad luck to you, Hughy!' and ran down the cross lane 
before I could get the other double to slap after him." 

I immediately set about recruiting the outlaws with the 
utmost activity and success. I appointed Hughy Hearn, who had 
but one arm, my drill-serjeant, and a monstrous athletic ruffian 
of the name of O'Mealy, my corporal, major, and inspector of 
recruits. I found no difficulty whatsoever in prevailing on them 
to take my money, clap up my cockade, get drunk, beat the 
town's people, and swear "true allegiance to King George, Sir 
Eyre Coote, and myself." This was the oath I administered 
to them, as they all seemed zealous to come with me.; but I 
took care not to tell them where. 

The kindness and hospitality I meanwhile received at Turlow, 
from Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald, were extremely gratifying ; nobody 
could be more interesting than the latter. There I met two re- 
markable persons of that country — George Lyster, whose finger 
was broken by George Eobert Fitzgerald, as previously men- 
tioned, and a little, decrepid, sharp-witted dog, called George 
Elliston, who afterward challenged me, and threatened Councel- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



231 



lor Saurin, because we did not succeed in a bad cause of bis in 
tbe King's Bencb, wherein we bad taken bis briefs without fees, 
as a matter of kindness to a pretended sufferer. 

In less than a fortnight I bad enlisted between fifty and 
sixty able, good-looking outlaws ; and as my money was running 
low, I determined to march off my first batch of fifty men, three 
Serjeants, and three corporals, for Dublin, and having placed 
them in depot there, to return and make up my number with a 
replenished purse. 

To give my march the greater eclat, I chose a market-day of 
Castlebar whereon to parade and address my company. There 
happened to be also a fair of linen-yarn, and the street was 
crowded with cars laden with hanks of yarn of different sizes 
and colours. Having drawn up my men, I ordered each one to 
get a bumper of whisky ; after which, taking off their hats, they 
gave three cheers for King George, Sir Eyre Coote, and Captain 
Barrington. I then made them a speech from the top of a car. 
I told them we were going to a place where the halfpennies were 
made of gold ; where plunder was permitted by the Honourable 
Company, and the officers taught their men how to avail them- 
selves of this permission ; where robbery and murder were not 
banging matters, as in Ireland ; where women were married at 
nine years old, and every soldier had as many wives as he could 
keep from starving, with a right to rob the rich, in order to sup- 
port a barrack fall of them. 

In short I expatiated on all the pleasures and comforts I 
purposed for them ; and received in return three more cheers — 
though neither so long nor loud as I could have wished ; and I 
perceived a good deal of whispering among my soldiers which I 
coidd not account for, save by the pain they might feel in taking 
leave of their fellow-robbers, as was natural enough. I was, 
however, soon undeceived, when, on ordering them to march, one 
said aloud, as if he spoke for the rest, "March is it? march, 
then, for fat r 

Observing their reluctance to quit Castlebar, I felt my young, 
sbght, and giddy self swell with all the pride and importance of 



282 



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a martinet ; I almost fancied myself a giant, and my big recruits 
mere pigmies. "Here, serjeant," said I arrogantly to Hugliy 
Hearn, " draw up those mutineers : fall in — fall in !" but nobody 
fell in, and Serjeant Hearn himself fell back " Serjeant," pur- 
sued I, " this moment arrest Corporal O'Mealy, he's the ring- 
leader." 

" He won't let me, captain," replied Serjeant Hearn. 

"'Tis your captain's command!" exclaimed I. 

" He says your honour's no captain at all," said Hughy 
Hearn ; " only a slip of a crimp, nothing else but a gaoler's son, 
that wants to sell the boys like negers, all as one as Hart and 
the green linnets in Dublin city." 

My choler could no longer be restrained : — I drew my broad- 
sword, and vowed I would divide the head of the first man that 
refused to march. " I'll teach these mutineers to obey his 
majesty's commission and officer," said I. 

Corporal O'Mealy and two others then took off their hats, 
and coming up to me, said with great good-humour and civility, 
" Well, captain dear, you'll forgive and forget a joke from your 
own boys, so you will. Sure 'twas nothin else but a parting joke 
for the fair, your honour ! Arrah ! put up that sliver of yours : 
sure it looks nasty in the fair, to be drawing your falchion on 
your own recruits, captain." 

I had no suspicion ; and the hanger was scarce secure in its 
scabbard, when some of my soldiers came behind me, and others 
in front, and I was completely surrounded. "I'll show you all 
that I am a captain, and a true captain," continued I. " Here, 
serjeant ! bring me my beating orders." 

"Beating — Ough ! is that what you'd be at?" said Corporal 
O'Mealy, who now assumed the command. " Ough ! if it's 
1 beating ' you want, by my sowl you'll be easily satisfied without 
Hughy Hearn's orders." 

I could stand it no longer : I could not run away if I 
wished ; a crowd was collecting around me, and so I sprang at 
the smallest of the recruits, whom I thought I could master, and 
seized him by the throat ; but a smart crack given with a hank 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



283 



of linen-yarn by some hand behind soon made me quit my prey ; 
another crack from another quarter quickly followed. I turned 
round to see my executioners, when I was suddenly wheeled 
back by the application of a third hank. This cracking, like a 
feu de joie, increased every moment, and was accompanied with 
vociferous laughs. In short, they pounded me almost to a jelly 
with hanks of linen .yarn, which lay ready to their hands on all 
the cars around us. At length, stooping down between two 
cars, I had the pleasure of seeing the whole of my recruits, drawn 
up by O'Mealy — for it appeared he was their real cajrtain — 
march regularly by me, every fellow in turn saluting any part of 
me he thought proper with a hank of yarn ; — and with a shout 
I still remember of " A George ! a George ! long life to our 
colonel!" they quitted the fair — as T learned, to take forcible 
possession of a house and farm from which one of them had been 
ejected — which feat I afterward heard they regularly performed 
that very night, with the addition of roasting the new proprietor 
in his own kitchen. 

Though I had no bones broken, some of my flesh took pretty 
much the colour and consistence of what cooks call aspic jelly. 
I was placed on a low garron, and returned to Turlow at night, 
sick, sore, and sorry. There I pretended I was only fatigued, 
and had taken cold ; and after experiencing the kind hospitality 
of Mrs. Fitzgerald — then a most interesting young lady — on the 
fourth day, at an early hour of a frosty morning, old Matthew 
Querns and I mounted our horses, without my having obtained 
anything more for my trouble, and money spent in the recruit- 
ing sendee, than a sound beating. A return carriage of Lord 
Altamont's having overtaken me on the road, I entered it, and 
was set down at the little inn at HaUyraount, where I remained 
some days with Mr. Jennings and family, recovering from my 
bruises, and sighing over the wreck of my fondly anticipated 
glories as a renowned colonel at the head of my regiment, plun- 
dering a pagoda and picking precious stones out of an idol. But, 
alas ! having lost all the remaining cash out of my pocket during 
the scuffle at Castlebar, instead of a lac of rupees, I found myself 



284 



barrington's personal sketches 



labouring under a complete lack of guineas, and was compelled 
to borrow sufficient from Candy, the innkeeper at Ballynasloe, 
to carry me home by easy stages. Thus did my military ardour 
receive its definitive cooling ! no ice-house ever chilled cham- 
pagne more effectually. I, however, got quite enough of hospi- 
tality at Turlow, and quite enough of thrashing at Castlebar, to 
engraft the whole circumstances on my memory. 

This journey gave me an opportunity of inspecting all the 
scenes of Mr. George Eobert Fitzgerald's exploits. The cave in 
which he confined his father, shown to me by Hughy Hearn, 
was concealed by bushes, and wrought under one of the old 
Danish moats, peculiar, I believe to Ireland. Yet, in the perpe- 
tration of that act of brutality, almost of parricide, he kept up 
the singular inconsistency of his character. Over the entrance 
to the subterraneous prison of his parent a specimen of classic 
elegance is exhibited by this inscription graven on a stone — 

Intus aquae dulces vivoque sedilia saxo 
Nympharumque domus. 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



285 



A NIGHT JOUKNEY. 

Mr. T , a reputable solicitor in Dublin, had been selected 

by George Eobert Fitzgerald to transact all his law and other 
business, as his attorney and agent. 

The choice was extremely judicious : — Fitzgerald had made 
a secret vow, that while he existed, he never would encourage 
such a nest of tricksters and extortioners as attorneys, by paying 
any bill of cost, right or wrong, long or short ; and to carry this 
pious vow into full execution, so far as regarded one attorney, he 
could not have made a better selection than that above stated. 

There are few qualities of the human mind more capricious 
than courage ; and I have known many instances in my passage 
through life, wherein men have been as courageous as a lion on 
one occasion, and as timorous as a little girl on others. I knew 
an English general who had never failed to signalise himself by 
intrepidity and contempt for death or fracture when engaged 
with the enemy, and was yet the most fearful being in the world 
lest he should be overset in a mail-coach. I have known men 
ready to fight anything by daylight, run like hares in the night- 
time from the very same object. The capriciousness of courage 
is, indeed, so unaccountable, that it has ever been to me a source 
of amusing reflection. Not being myself of a very timorous 
disposition, and though I cannot say I ever experienced great 
fear of actual death in any proper reasonable way by the hands 
of a Christian — nay, even should it be a doctor — I always felt 
the greatest dread of getting a bite from the teeth of a mastiff, 
and never passed the heels of a horse without experiencing 
strong symptoms of cowardice. I always felt much stouter by 
daylight too than in the night-time. 

I have ever observed that the courage of sailws is, of all 



286 



barrington's personal sketches 



other species, the most perfect. I scarce ever met a common 
sailor that had any sense of danger ; the two most tremendous 
elements, fire and water, they totally disregard, and defy hurri- 
canes and cannon, as if they were no more than Zephyrs or 
Catherine-wheels. They have not the same chance of getting 
away with soldiers from their combats : — a sailor cannot rest 
one second from fighting till the battle is ended ; and a few 
years' experience of burning, sinking, bombarding, blasting, and 
blowing up — of thunder, lightning, and shipwreck — ossifies the 
nerves, or rather changes them into muscles, and renders habit 
second nature. The sailor, therefore, acquires a constitutional 
contempt for danger in all its ramifications ; while the soldiers' 
battles are comparatively quiet, regular transactions, and their 
generals take themselves carefully out of the fray if they imagine 
they are getting the worst of it. 

I have always, in fact, conceived that the noblest fighting 
ever invented was a sea-battle, and the most intrepid animal in 
the creation a British sailor. How far the new lights, in 
changing their natural rum into hot water, their grog into hohea 
tea, and their naval dialect into methodistical canting, may in- 
crease their courage, which was already ample, is for the pro- 
jectors to determine. Our naval victories over the whole world 
proved that no change of liquids was necessary. When anything 
cannot be improved, alteration is injurious ; and I cannot help 
thinking that one sailor sending his compliments by a cabin-boy 
to a brother tar, requesting the " honour of his company to take 
a dish of tea with him after prayers," is perfectly ridiculous. 
God send it may not be worse than ridiculous ! You may man 
your fleet with saints ; but remember, it was the old sinners that 
gained your victories. 

But to recover from one of my usual digressions, I must now 
advert, though in a very different point of view, to the bravery 
of attorneys, and exemplify the species of capriciousness I 

allude to in the person of Mr. T . There was not another 

solicitor or practitioner in the four courts of Dublin, who showed 
more fortitude or downright bravery on all law proceedings. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



287 



He never was known to flinch at anything of the kind ; would 
contest a nisi prius from morning till night without sense of 
danger ; and even after a defeat, would sit down at his desk to 
draw out his hill of costs, with as much sang froid as a French 
general, in Napoleon's time, would write despatches upon a drum- 
head in the midst of action. 

Yet, with all this fortitude, he presented a singular example 
of the anomaly I have alluded to. Nature had given him a set 
of nerves as strong as chain cahles, when used in mooring his 
clients' concerns ; and it seemed as if he had another and totally 
different set (of the nature of packthread) for his own purposes. 
His first set would have answered a sailor, his last a young lady — 
in plain English, he would sooner lose a good hill of costs, than 
run a risk of provoking any irritable country gentleman to 
action. In such cases lie was the most mild, bland, and humble 
antagonist that a debtor could look for. Such (and, I repeat, 
most judiciously chosen) was the attorney of George Eobert 
Fitzgerald. In person he was under the middle proportion, and 
generally buttoned up in a black single-breasted coat, with what 
was then called a flaxen Beresford bob-wig, and everything to 
match. I remember him well, and a neat, smug, sharp, half- 
century man he was. 

This gentleman had been newly engaged by Mr. Fitzgerald 
to prepare numerous leases for his desperadoes ; to serve eject- 
ments on half his reputable tenantry ; to do various other acts 
according to law, with a high hand, in the county of Galway ; 
and to go down with him to Turlow, to see that all was duly 
executed. The several preparations for these things were of a 
veiy expensive description, and therefore the attorney would 
fain have had a little advance towards stamps, office-fees, etc.; 
but on remotely hinting this, Mr. Fitzgerald replied (with one of 
those mild, engaging modes of muzzling people in which he was 

so great a proficient), * Surely, Mr. T , you don't doubt my 

honour and punctuality:" which kind expression he accom- 
panied by such a look as that wherewith the serpent is said to 
fascinate its prey. 



288 



baeelngton's personal sketches 



This expressive glance brought down Mr. T to the excla- 
mation — " Lord, Mr. Fitzgerald, doubt your honour ! Oh, not 
at all, sir. I only, Mr. Fitzgerald, only" 

Here George Eobert, with a bland smile and graceful motion 
of the hand, told him, " that he need say no more," and desired 
him to make out his bill of costs in full, to have it ready re- 
ceipted, and so soon as they arrived among Mr. Fitzgerald's 

tenantry at Turlow, Mr. T might be assured he'd pay him 

off entirely ivitliout taxing. 

Mr. T was quite charmed, expressed his satisfaction, 

and declared his readiness to accompany his client to Turlow, 
after a few days' preparation in engrossing leases, having one 
thousand five hundred ejectments filled up, and other pre- 
liminaries. " And be so good," said Mr. Fitzgerald, " to include 
in your bill, this time, all the expenses of your former journey 
to Turlow (where I fear you were badly accommodated), as well 
as what may be due upon every other account. I intend to 
settle all at once." 

Mr. T was still more delighted ; all matters were pre- 
pared, the bills of costs reckoned, with a full acquittance and 
discharge for the whole (except the date) at the conclusion, to 
prevent delay or cavil ; all the leases, ejectments, etc., were duly 
packed in a trunk, and the day fixed for setting out for Turlow ; 
when Mr. Fitzgerald sent for the attorney, and told him, that if 
his going down was previously known, there were several of the 
tenants and others, under the adverse influence of his father and 
brother, who would probably abscond ; and that therefore, since 
spies were watching him perpetually, to give notice in the 
county of his every movement, it was expedient that he should 
set out two or three hours before daybreak, so as to have the 
start of them ; that his own travelling-carriage should be ready 

near the gate of the Phoenix Park, to take up Mr. T , who 

might bring his trunk of papers with him thither in a hack 
carriage, so that there may be no suspicion. 

All this was both reasonable and proper, and accordingly 
done. Mr. Fitzgerald's carriage was on the spot named, near 



OF HIS OWy TIMES. 



289 



the wall of the Phoenix Park The attorney was punctual ; the 
night pitch-dark ; and the trunk of papers put into the boot ; 

the windows were all drawn up ; Mr. T sirred i^:o tie 

carriage with as great satisiactior. as ever le had :el: in Lis whole 
lifetime, and away they drove cheerily, at a good round pace, for 
the county of Galway. 

Mr. T had no idea that anybody else was coming with 

them — Mr. Fitzgerald not having at all mentioned such a thing. 
He found, however, a third gentleman in a travelling cloak sitting 
between himself and his client, who was dozing in the far corner. 
This stranger, too, he found not over-courteous ; for though the 
carriage was not very roomy, and the gentleman was bulky, he 
showed no disposition whatever to accommodate the attorney, 
who begged him i with great suavity and politeness, to " move a 
little." To this he received no reply, but a snoring both from 

the strange traveller and Mr. Fitzgerald Mr. T now felt 

himself mnch crowded and pressed, and again earnestly requested 
" the gentleman " to allow him, if possible, a little more room : 
but he still only received a snore in return. He now concluded 
that his companion was a low, vulgar fellow. His nerves became 
rather lax : he got alarmed, without well knowing why ; he be- 
gan to twitter — the twitter turned into a shake; and, as is 
generally the case, the shake ended with a cold sweat, and Mr. 
T found himself in a state of mind and body far more dis- 
agreeable than he had ever before experienced The closeness 
and pressure had elicited a hot perspiration on the one side ; 
while his fears produced a cold perspiration on the other : so 
that (quite unlike the ague he had not long recovered from) he 
had hot and cold fits at the same moment. All his apprehensions 
were now awakened : his memory opened her stores, and he 
began to recollect dreadful anecdotes of Mr. Fitzgerald, which 
he never before had credited, or indeed had any occasion to re- 
member. The ruffians of Turlow passed as the ghosts in Macbeth 
before his imagination. Mr. Fitzgerald, he supposed, was in a 
fox's sleep, and his bravo in another, — who, instead of receding 
at all, on the contrary squeezed the attorney closer and closer. 

vol. n. o 



290 



BARMNGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



His respiration now grew impeded, and every fresh idea exagger- 
ated his horror ; his surmises were of the most frightful descrip- 
tion ; his untaxed costs, he anticipated, would prove his certain 
death, and that a cruel one ! neither of his companions would 
answer him a single question, the one replying only by a rude 
snore, and the other by a still ruder. 

" Now," thought Mr. T , " my fate is consummated. I 

have often heard how Mr. Fitzgerald cut a Jew's throat in Italy," 
and slaughtered numerous creditors while on the grand tour of 
Europe. God help me ! unfortunate solicitor that I am ! my last 
day, or rather night, is come ! " 

He thought to let down the window, and admit a little fresh 
air, but it was quite fast. The whole situation was insupport- 
able ; and at length he addressed Mr. Fitzgerald, most pathetically, 
thus : " Mr. Fitzgerald, I'll date the receipt the moment you choose ; 
and whenever it's your convenience, I have no doubt you'll pay 
it most honourably ; no doubt, no doubt, Mr. Fitzgerald ! but 
not necessary at all till perfectly convenient — or never, if more 
agreeable to you, and this other gentleman." 

Fitzgerald could now contain himself no longer, but said, 

quite in good humour, " Oh, very well, Mr. T , very well : 

quite time enough ; make yourself easy on that head." 

The carriage now arrived at Maynooth, where the horses 
were instantly changed, and they proceeded rapidly on their 
journey — Mr. Fitzgerald declaring he would not alight till he 
reached Turlow, for fear of pursuit. 

The attorney now took courage, and very truly surmising 
that the other gentleman was a foreigner, ventured to beg of Mr. 
Fitzgerald to ask " his friend " to sit over a little, as he was quite 
crushed. 

Mr. Fitzgerald replied, " That the party in question did not 
speak English ; — but when they arrived at Killcock, the matter 
should be better arranged." 

The attorney was now compelled, for some time longer, to 
suffer the hot-press, inflicted with as little compunction as if he 
were only a sheet of paper ; but on arriving at the inn at Kill- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



291 



cock, dawn just appeared ; and Mr. Fitzgerald, letting down a 
window, desired his servant, who was riding with a pair of large 
horse-pistols before him, to rouse the people at the inn, and get 
some cold provisions and a bottle of wine brought to the carriage : 
" And, Thomas," said he, " get five or six pounds of raw meat, if 
you can — no matter of what kind — for this foreign gentleman." 

The attorney was now petrified : — a little twilight glanced 
into the carriage, and nearly turned him into stone. The stranger 
was wrapped up in a blue travelling cloak with a scarlet cape, 
and had a great white cloth tied round his head and under his 
chin ; — but when Mr. Solicitor saw the face of his companion, he 
uttered a piteous cry, and involuntarily ejaculated "Murder! 
murder!" On hearing this cry, the servant rode back to the 

carriage-window and pointed to his pistols. Mr. T now 

offered his soul up to God, the stranger grumbled, and Mr. Fitz- 
gerald, leaning across, put his hand to the attorney's mouth, and 
said, he should direct his servant to give him reason for that cry, 
if he attempted to alarm the people in the house. Thomas went 
into the inn, and immediately returned with a bottle of wine and 
some bread, but reported that there was no raw meat to be had 
— on hearing which, Mr. Fitzgerald ordered him to seek some at 
another house. The attorney now exclaimed again, " God pro- 
tect me !" Streaming with perspiration, his eye every now and 
then glancing toward his mysterious companion, and then start- 
ing aside with horror, he at length shook as if he were relapsing 
into his old ague ; and the stranger, finding so much unusual 
motion beside him, turned his countenance upon the attorney. 
Their cheeks came in contact, and the reader must imagine — be- 
cause it is impossible adequately to describe — the scene that 
followed. The stranger's profile was of uncommon prominence ; 
his mouth stretched from ear to ear ; he had enormous grinders, 
with a small twinkling eye ; and his visage was all bewhiskered 
and mustachoed, more even than Count Platoffs of the Cos- 
sacks. 

Mr. T 's optic nerves were paralysed, as he gazed in- 
stinctively at his horrid companion ; in whom, when he re- 



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covered his sense of vision sufficiently to scrutinise him, lie 
could trace no similitude to any being on earth save a bear ! 

And the attorney was quite correct in this comparison ; it 
was actually a Bussian bear, which Mr. Fitzgerald had educated 
from a cub, and which generally accompanied his master on his 
travels. He now gave Bruin a rap upon the nose with a stick 
which he carried, and desired him to hold up his head. The 
brute obeyed. Fitzgerald then ordered him to kiss his neighbour, 
and the beast did as he was told, but accompanied his salute 
with such a tremendous roar as roused the attorney (then almost 
swooning) to a full sense of his danger. Self-preservation is the 
first law of nature, and at once gives courage, and suggests 
devices. On this occasion every other kind of law — civil, crimi- 
nal, or equitable — was set aside by the attorney. All his ideas, 
if any he had, were centered in one word — " escape ;" and as a 
weasel, it is said, will attack a man if driven to desperation, so 
did the attorney spurn the menaces of Mr. Fitzgerald, who en- 
deavoured to hold and detain him. The struggle was violent, 
but brief ; Bruin roared loud, but interfered not. Horror 
strengthened the solicitor ; dashing against the carriage-door, he 
burst it open ; and tumbling out reeled into the public-house, — 
then rushing through a back door, and up a narrow lane that 
led to the village of Summerhill (Mr. Eoly's demesne), about 
two miles distant, he stumbled over hillocks, tore through hedges 
and ditches, and never stopped till he came breathless to the 
little alehouse, completely covered with mud, and his clothes in 
rags. He there told so incoherent a story, that the people all 
took him for a man either bitten by a mad dog or broken loose 
from his keepers ; and considered it their duty to tie him, to 
prevent his biting or other mischief. In that manner they led 
him to Squire Eoly's, at the great house, where the hapless 
attorney was pinioned and confined in a stable for some hours 
till the squire got up. They put plenty of milk, bread, butter, 
and cheese into the manger, from the cock-loft above, to prevent 
accidents as they said. 

Thus situated, Mr. T had leisure to come somewhat to 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



293 



his recollection, so as to be able to tell the stoiy rather rationally 
to Mr. Roily, when he came to examine him — being held fast by 
four men while under interrogation ; the result of which nearly 
killed old Eoly with laughter. The attorney was now released, 
invited into the house to clean himself, and supplied with a 
surtout coat and hat ; and after offering as many thanksgivings 
as could be expected from a solicitor of those days, for his pro- 
vidential escape, he had a comfortable breakfast provided ; and 
at his earnest desire, Mr. Eoly sent one of his carriages, and two 
armed servants, with him to his own house in Dublin, where he 
safely arrived in due season. 

This adventure was circulated throughout Dublin with 
rapidity (as everything comical then was' , but with many vari- 
ations and additions ; and I remember it a standing story in 
every company that relished a joke. 

It was some months before Mr. T wholly recovered from 

his terror ; and several clients, who lost their causes, attributed 
their failures to the bear having turned the brain and injured 
the legal capacity and intellect of their lawyer. However, as a 
proof of the old adage, that " whatever is, is right," this very 

adventure in all probability saved Mr. T from being hanged 

and quartered (as will immediately appear). So terrific did the 
very idea of George Eobert Fitzgerald appear to him afterward, 
that he never ventured to ask him for the amoimt of his bill of 
costs, and gave him (in a negative way) all the leases, ejectments, 
and papers — together with his wardrobe, and a trifle of cash 
contained in his trunk which was left in the carriage. 

Mr. Fitzgerald, having long had a design to put one Mr. 
M'Donnell, of his county, hors de combat, for some old grudge, 
determined to seek an opportunity of doing it under the colour 
of M'Donnell's illegal resistance to a law process, which process 
Mr. T had (innocently) executed ; in which case the attor- 
ney would, of course, as sportsmen say, " be in at the death." 

After the affair of the bear, no attorney or other legal man 
would entrust himself at Turlow ; it was, therefore, some time 
before Mr. Fitzgerald could carry the above purpose into execu- 



294 



barrington's personal sketches 



tion ; when, at length, he found an old lawyer, who, with the 

aid of Mr. T 's said ejectments, leases, etc., struck out a 

legal pretence for shooting Mr. McDonnell, which would probably 

have been fathered upon poor Mr. T if the bear had not 

stood his friend and packed him off to Summerhill instead of 
Turlow. As it was, this man (whose name was Brecknock), 
who acted for Fitzgerald as agent, adviser, attorney, etc., was 
hanged for his pains, as an accessory before the fact, in giving 
Mr. Fitzgerald a legal opinion ; and Mr. Fitzgerald himself was 
hanged for the murder, solely on the evidence of his own groom, 
Scotch Andrew, the man who really committed it, by firing the 
fatal blunderbuss. 

There can be no doubt he deserved the death he met ; but 
there is also no doubt he was not legally convicted ; and old 
Judge Eobinson, then accounted the best lawyer on the bench, 
sarcastically remarked that " the murderer was murdered." 

This incident had escaped both my notes and memory, when 
it was fully revived by the affair between my good old friend 
Richard Martin of Connemara and Mr. Fitzgerald, described in 
a preceding sketch, and originating in the latter yoking his own 
father in a dray by the side of that very bear. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



295 



MARTIAL LAW. 

The administration of the law among gentlemen in Ireland fifty 
years back is curiously illustrated by the following little narra- 
tive, the circumstances whereof have been communicated to me 
from such a quarter as not to admit of their being doubted. 

Our laws, in their most regular course (as everybody knows 
who has had the honour and happiness of being much involved 
in them), are neither so fleet as a race-horse nor so cheap as 
water-cresses. They indisputably require eloquent advocates and 
keen attorneys, who expound, complicate, unriddle, or confuse, 
the respective statutes, points, precedents, and practice of that 
simple science, which too frequently, like a burning-glass, con- 
sumes both sides of what it shines upon. 

Some prudent and sensible gentlemen, therefore, principally 
in the country parts of Ireland (who probably had bit upon the 
bridle), began to conceive that justice ought to be neither so dear 
nor so tardy ; and when they reflected that what were called 
their " barking-irons " brought all ordinary disputes to a speedy 
termination ; why, thought they, should not these be equally 
applicable to matters of law, property, and so forth, as to matters 
of honour ? At all events, such an application would be incal- 
culably cheaper than any taxed bill of costs, even of the most 
conscientious solicitor. 

This idea became very popular in some counties, and, indeed, 
it had sundry old precedents in its favour — the writ of right and 
trial by battle having been originally the law of the land, and 
traditionally considered as far the most honourable way of ter- 
minating a suit. They considered, therefore, that what was 
lawful one day could not be justly deemed unlawful another, 
and that by shortening the process of distributing justice they 



296 



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should assist in extending it. The old jokers said, and said 
truly, that many a cause had been decided to a dead certainty in 
a few minutes by simply touching a trigger, upon which attor- 
neys, barristers, judges, jurors, witnesses, and sometimes all the 
peers of the realm, spiritual and temporal, had been working and 
fumbling for a series of years without bringing it even to an 
^satisfactory issue. 

My old and worthy friend " Squire Martin " afforded a most 
excellent illustration of this practice ; and as all the parties were 
" gentlemen to the backbone," the anecdote may be deemed a 
respectable one. I have often heard the case quoted in different 
companies, as a beneficial mode of ensuring a compromise. But 
the report of my friend makes it anything but a compromise on 
his part. The retrograding was no doubt on the part of the 
enemy, and equally unequivocal as Moreau's through the Black 
Forest, or that of the ten thousand Greeks, though neither so 
brave nor so bloody as either of them. 

I name place, parties, cause, proceedings, and final judgment, 
just as I received these particulars from the defendant himself ; 
and I consider the case as forming a very valuable precedent for 
corresponding ones. 

Eustace Stowell, Esq., challenger. 

Bichard Martin, Esq., acceptor. 

Operater for the challenger, D. Blake, Esq. 

Operator for the acceptor. Bight Honourable St. George Daly, 
late judge of the King's Bench, Ireland. 

Case as reported by Defendant. 
Eustace Stowell lent me a sum of money on interest, which 
interest I had not paid very regularly. Mistaking my means, I 
promised to pay him at a certain time, but failed. He then 
called on me, and said I had broken my word. I answered, 
" Yes, I have, but I could not help it. I am very sorry, but in a 
few days will satisfy the demand." Accordingly, my worthy 
friend the late Earl of Mountjoy accepted my bills at three and 
six months for the whole amount.* 

* Never was paid. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



297 



Having arranged the business thus, I enclosed the bills to 
Mr. Eustace Stowell, who immediately returned them, saying, 
that as I had broken my word, he would accept of no payment 
but hard money. 

I replied that I had no hard money, nor was there much of 
it afloat in my part of the country, upon which Mr. Eustace 
Stowell immediately sent his friend to me, requiring me either 
to give him cash or personal satisfaction; and in the latter event, 
to appoint time and place. My answer was, that I did not want 
to shoot him unless he insisted upon it ; but that as to cash, 
though Solomon was a wise man, and Samson a strong one, 
neither of them could pay ready money if they had it not. So I 
prepared to engage him. My friend the Eight Honourable St. 
George Daly, since judge of the King's Bench, assisted in 
arranging preliminaries to our mutual satisfaction, and pretty 
early next morning we met to fight out the debt in that part of 
the Phoenix Park called the Fifteen Acres. 

Everything proceeded regularly as usual. Our pistols were 
loaded, and the distance measured — eight yards from muzzle to 
muzzle. I stepped on my ground, he on his. I was just pre- 
senting my pistol at his body, when, having, I suppose, a 
presentiment that he should go somewhere out of this world if 
I let fly at him, he instantly dropped his weapon, crying out 
— " Mr. Martin ! Mr. Martin ! a pretty sort of payment this ! 
You'd shoot me for my interest-money, would you ?" 

" If it's your pleasure, Mr. Eustace Stowell," said I, " I 
certainly will ; but it was not my desire to come here, or to 
shoot you. You insisted on it yourself ; so go on, if you please, 
now we are here." 

" What security will you give me, Mr. Martin," said he, 
" for my interest-money ?" 

" What I have offered you already," said I. 

" And what's that ?" demanded Mr. Stowell. 

" I offered you Lord Mountjoy's bills at three and six 
months," said I. Before I had time to finish the last words 
Mr. Stowell cried out, " Xothing can be better or more reason- 



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barrington's personal sketches 



able, Mr. Martin ; I accept trie offer with pleasure. No better 
payment can be. It is singular you did not make this offer 
before." 

" I think," said I, " you had better take your ground again, 
Mr. Eustace Stowell, for I tell you I did make this offer before, 
and maybe you don't like so plump a contradiction. If not, I'm 
at your service. Here is a letter under your own hand, return- 
ing the bills and declining to receive them. See, read that!" 
continued I, handing it him. 

" Bless me !" said he, " there must be some great misunder- 
standing in this business. All's right and honourable. I hope 
the whole will be forgotten, Mr. Martin." 

" Certainly, Mr. Stowell," replied I ; " but I trust you'll not 
be so hard to please about your interest-money in future, when 
it's not convenient to a gentleman to pay it." 

He laughed, and we all four stepped into the same carriage, 
returned the best friends possible, and I never heard anything 
irritating about his interest-money afterward. 



This case, however, was only a simple one on the money 
counts — a mere matter of assumpsit, in which all the gross and 
ungentlemanly legal expressions used in law declarations on 
assumpsits were totally avoided — such as " intending thereby to 
deceive and defraud;" language which, though legal, a Galway 
gentleman would as soon eat his horse as put up with from his 
equal, though he would bear it from a shopkeeper with sovereign 
indifference. When such a one, therefore, was sued in assumpsit 
for a horse or so by a gentleman, the attorney never let his 
client read the law declaration — the result of which would be 
injurious to two of the parties at least, as one of the litigants 
would probably lose his life, and the attorney the litigation. 
The foregoing cause was conducted with as much politeness and 
decorum as could possibly be expected between four high, well- 
bred persons, who, not having "the fear of God before their 
eyes," but, as law indictments very properly set forth, " being 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



299 



moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil," had con- 
gregated for the avowed purpose of committing or aiding in one 
or more wilful and deliberate murders. 

I must here observe that, in addition to the other advantages 
this mode of proceeding between gentlemen had over that of 
courts of justice, a certain principle of equity was understood to 
be connected with it. After a gentleman was regularly called 
out, and had duly fought the challenger respecting any sum of 
money, whether the trial ended in death or not, after a single 
shot the demand was extinguished and annulled for ever — no 
man can be sued twice for the same debt. Thus the challenger 
in a money case stood in rather an unpleasant situation, as, 
exclusive of the chance of getting a crack, the money was for 
ever gone, whether his adversary lived or died — unless, indeed, 
the acceptor, being a "gentleman every inch of him,*' might feel 
disposed to waive his " privilege." 

But this short, cheap, and decisive mode of terminating 
causes was not confined to simple money counts ; it extended to 
all actions at law and proceedings in equity. The grand old pro- 
crastinators of Irish courts, demurrers and injunctions, were thus 
dissolved or obviated by a trigger, in a shorter time than the 
judges took to put on their wigs and robes. Actions also of 
trover, assault, trespass, detenu, replevin, covenant, etc. etc., were 
occasionally referred to this laudable branch of jurisprudence 
with great success, seldom failing of being finally decided by 
seven o'clock in the morning. 

The system was also resorted to by betters at cock-fights, 
horse-races, or hurlings ; as well as on account of breaches of 
marriage-contracts with sisters, nieces, or cousins ; or of dis- 
training cattle, beating other gentlemen's servants, etc. etc. : but 
none were more subject to the trigger process than high-sheriffs 
when their year was over, if they had permitted their subs to 
lay on such things as executions, fieri facias, or scire facias, 
habercs, etc. ; or to molest the person, property, or blood rela- 
tions, of any real and spirited gentleman in his own bailiwick, 
or out of it. 



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barrington's personal sketches 



The high-sheriff "being thus, by the laws of custom, honour, 
and the country gentlemen of Ireland, subject to be either shot 
or horsewhipped, or forced to commit a breach of public duty, 
very fortunately discovered an antidote to this poison in the 
person of his sub-sheriff, an officer generally selected from the 
breed of country attorneys. Now, it was an invariable engagement 
of the sub that he should keep, guarantee, and preserve his high 
from all manner of injury and annoyances. But, as it was by 
common accord decided that a sub-sheriff could not possibly be 
considered a gentleman, none such would do him the honour of 
fighting him. Yet, being necessitated to adopt some mode of 
keeping the high out of the fangs of fire-eaters, and himself 
from a fracture by the butt-end of a loaded whip, or the welts of a 
cutting one, or of having his "seat of honour" treated as if it were 
a foot-ball, the sub struck out a plan of preventing any catastrophe 
of the kind ; which plan, by the aid of a little smart affidavit, 
generally succeeded extremely well in the superior courts. 

When the sub-sheriff received a writ or process calculated 
to annoy any gentleman, he generally sent his bailiff at night to 
inform the gentleman that he had such a writ or process, hoping 
the squire would have no objection to send him the little fees 
on it with a small douceur, and he would pledge his word and 
honour that the squire should hear no more about the matter 
for that year. If the gentleman had not by him the amount of 
the fees (as was generally the case), he faithfully promised them, 
which being considered a debt of honour, was always, like a 
gambling debt, entitled to be earliest paid. Upon this the sub, 
as soon as he was forced to -make a return to such writs, did 
make a very sweeping one — namely, that the defendant had 
neither "body nor goods." This was, if required, confirmed 
by the little smart affidavit ; and if still doubted by the court, 
the sub never wanted plenty of respectable corroborating bailiffs 
to kiss their thumbs, and rescue the high out of any trifling 
dilemma that "his honour might get into through the Dublin 
people, bad luck to them all ! root and branch, dead or alive," 
as the country bums usually expressed themselves. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



301 



Of the general application of this decisive mode of adjudi- 
cating cases of warranty and guarantee, I can give a tolerably 
clear example in my own proper person. When very young, I 
was spending a day at a cottage belonging to Mr. Reddy Long 
of Moat, near Ballyragget, a fire-eater, when one Mr. Charley 
White sold me a horse for ten guineas, which he warranted 
sound, and which seemed well worth the money. Xext day, 
when the seller had departed, the beast appeared to my host 
(not to me) to limp somewhat, and the dealing had thereby the 
appearance of jockeyship and false warranty, which occurring 
in the house of a fire-eater, rendered the injury an insult, and 
was accounted totally unpardonable. I knew that if the beast 
were really lame, I could oblige the seller to return the money, 
and accordingly told my host that if it turned out unsound, I'd 
get John Humphreys, the attorney, to write to Charley "White 
to refund. 

"An attorney write to a gentleman!" said Reddy Long, 
starting and staring at me with a frown. " Are you out of your 
wits, my neat lad ? Why, if you sent an attorney in an affair 
of horse-flesh, you'd be damned in all society — you'd be out of 
our list, by — " 

" Certainly," said I ; " it's rather a small matter to go to law 
about " (mistaking his meaning). 

" Law ! law ! " exclaimed Reddy. " Why, thunder and ouns ! 
joekeying one is a personal insult all the world over, when it's a 
gentleman that resorts to it, and in the house of another gentle- 
man. Xo, no ; you must make him give up the shiners, and no 
questions asked, or I'll have him out ready for you to shoot at in 
the meadows of Ahaboe by seven in the morning. See here!" 
said he, opening his ornamented mahogany pistol-case, " see, 
the boys are as bright as silver ; and I'm sure if the poor things 
could speak, they'd thank you for getting them their liberty : 
they have not been out of their own house these three months." 

" Why, Reddy Long," said I, " I vow to God I do not want 
to fight ; there's no reason for my quarrelling about it. Charley 
White will return my money when I ask him for it." 



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barrington's personal sketches 



" That won't do," said Eeddy : " if the horse limps, the 
insult is complete ; we must have no bad precedents in this 
county. One gentleman warranting a limper to another in 
private is a gross affront, and a hole in his skin will be indis- 
pensable. At fairs, hunts, and horse-races, indeed, it's 'catch 
as catch can ;' there's no great dishonour as to beasts in the 
open air. That's the rule all the world over. Law, indeed ! 
no, no, my boy, ten guineas or death — no sort of alternative ! 
Tom Nolan," continued he, looking out of the window, " saddle 
the pony ; I'll be with Charley White of Ballybrophy before he 
gets home, as sure as Ben Burton !" 

" I tell you, Mr. Long," said I, rather displeased, " I tell you 
I don't want to fight, and I won't fight. I feel no insult yet at 
least, and I desire you not to deliver any such message from me." 

"You do!" said Eeddy Long, "you do!" strutting up and 
looking me fiercely in the face. " Then, if you won't fight 
him, you'll fight me, I suppose ?" 

" Why so?" said I. 

"What's that to you?" said he; but in a moment he 
softened, and added, taking me by the hand, " My good lad, I 
know you are a mere boy, and not up to the ways yet ; but your 
father would be angry if I did not make you do yourself 
justice ; so come, get ready, my buck, to canter off to Denny 
Cuff's, where we'll be more handy for to-morrow." 

I persisted in desiring him not to deliver any hostile mes- 
sage ; but in vain. " If," said he, as he mounted his pony, 
" you won't fight, I must fight him myself, as the thing occurred 
in my house. I'll engage that, if you did not call out Charley, 
all the bullock-feeders from Ossory, and that double-tongued 
dog from Ballybrophy at the head of them, would post you at 
the races at Boscrea." 

Before I could expostulate further, Mr. Beddy Long galloped 
off with a mew holloa, to deliver a challenge for me against my 
will * to Mr. Charley White, who had given me no provocation. 

* I had made an unbending rule, for which I was dreadfully teased in the 
country, never to fight or quarrel about horse-flesh.- — {Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWX TIMES. 



303 



I felt very uneasy ; however, off I rode to Cuffsborough, where 
I made my complaint to old Denny Cuff, whose daughter was mar- 
ried to Eeddy Long, and whose son afterwards married my sister. 

Old Cuff laughed heartily at me, and said, "You know 
Charley White?" 

" To be sure I do," said I ; " a civil and inoffensive man as 
any in Ossory." 

" That's the very reason Eeddy will deliver a challenge to 
him," said Cuff. 

" 'Tis an odd reason enough/' answered I. 

" But a right good one too, rejoined old Cuff. " Eeddy 
knew that Charley would rather give fifty yellow boys than 
stand half a shot, let alone a couple. I'll answer for it Eeddy 
knows what he is about :" and so it proved. 

My self-elected second returned that evening with Charley 
White's groom to take back the horse, and he brought me my 
ten guineas. On my thanking him, and holding out my hand 
to receive them, after a moment's hesitation, he said, "You 
don't want them for a day or two, do you ?" 

Taken completely by surprise, I answered involuntarily, " Xo." 

" Well, then," said my friend Eeddy, " I am going to the 
races of Eoscrea, and I won't give you tlie ten till I come back. 
It's all one to you, you know ?" added he, begging the question. 

It was not all one to me : however, I was too proud or rather 
silly to gainsay him, and he put the pieces into his purse with 
a number of similar companions, and went to the races of 
Eoscrea, where he was soon disburdened of them all, and con- 
tracted sundry obligations into the bargain. I was necessitated 
to go home, and never saw him after. He died very soon, and 
bequeathed me an excellent chestnut hunter called Spred, with 
Otter, a water-dog of singular talents. I was well pleased 
when I heard of tliis ; but, on inquiry, found they were lapsed 
legacies, as the horse had died of the glanders a year before, and 
the dog had run mad, and was hanged long ere the departure of 
his master. I suppose when death was torturing poor Eeddy — 
for he died of the gout in his head — he forgot that the horse 
had been then skinned more than a twelvemonth. 



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barrington's personal sketches 



BULLETIN EXTRAORDINARY. 

After fifteen days of one of the hottest election-contests I had 
ever witnessed, I accompanied my friend, Counsellor Moore, to 
his aunt's, Mrs. Burke of Bock House, Castlebar, where plenty, 
hospitality, and the kindest attentions, would have soon made 
amends for our past misfortunes. But ill-luck would not remit 
so suddenly. We had both got a Mayo chill on us, from the 
effects whereof not even abundance of good claret and hot punch 
could protect us. 

We had retired to rest after a most joyous festivity, when 
Moore, who had not been two hours in bed, was roused by the 
excruciating tortures of an inflammation of the stomach ; and in 
less than half-an-hour after I heard his first groan I found my 
own breath rapidly forsaking me ; pins and needles seemed to 
be darting across my chest in all directions, and it was quite 
clear that another inflammation had taken a fancy to my lungs 
without giving the slightest notice. I could scarcely articulate, 
though my pains were not so very great as those of my poor 
friend ; but I lost half the power of respiring, and had not even 
the consolation of being able to moan so loud as he. This was 
truly mortifying ; but I contrived to thump strongly against the 
wainscot, which, being hollow, proved an excellent conductor. 
The family took for granted that the house was on fire, or that 
some thief or ghost had appeared, and, roused up by different 
conjectures, its members of each sex, age, and rank, quickly 
rushed into our room, screeching and jostling each other, as 
they followed the old man-servant, who, with a hatchet in his 
hand, came on most valiantly. None waited for the ceremony of 
the toilet, but approached just as they had quitted their couches, 
not even a " blanket " being " in the alarm of fear caught up." 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



305 



The first follower of the old footman was a fat cook of Mrs. 
Burke's, Honor O'Maily, who, on learning the cause of the 
uproar, immediately commenced clearing herself from any 
suspicion of poisoning ; and cursing herself, without any reser- 
vation as to saints and devils, if the victuals, as she dressed 
them, were not sweet, good, and right wholesome. Her pepper 
and salt, she vowed, had been in the house a fortnight before, 
and both the fritters and pancakes were fried in her own 
drippings ! 

Honor's exculpatory harangue being with some difficulty 
silenced, a hundred antidotes were immediately suggested. 
Mrs. Burke, an excellent woman, soon found a receipt at the 
end of her cookery-book for curing all manner of poisons (for 
they actually deemed us poisoned) either in man or beast ; and 
the administration of this recipe was approved by one Mr. 
Dennis Shee, another family domestic, who said " he had been 
pysoncd himself with some love-powders by a young woman who 
wanted to marry him, and was cured by the very same stuff 
the mistress was going to make up for the counsellors ; but that 
anyhow he would run off for the doctor, who, to be sure, knew 
best about the matter." 

It was now fully agreed that some of Denis Brown's voters 
had got the poison from a witch at Braefield,* out of spite, and 
all the sen-ants cried out that there was no luck or grace for any 
real gentleman in that quarter from the time George Robert was 
hanged. 

Poor Mrs. Burke was miserable on every account, since the 
story of "two counsellors being poisoned at Rock House" would 
be such a stain on the family. 

Being raised up in my bed against pillows, I began to think 

* In old times, Braefield, near Turlow, had been noted for witches, several of 
whom had been burned or drowned for poisoning cattle, giving love-powders to 
people's childcr ere they came to years of maturity, and bestowing the shaking 
ague on everybody who was not kind to them. When I was at Turlow they 
showed me, near Braefield, five high granite stones stuck up in the midst of a 
green field, which they called " the Witches of Braefield." They said there was 
a witch under every one of these, buried a hundred feet deep. — {Author's note.) 
VOL. II. X 



306 



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my complaint rather spasmodic than inflammatory, as I breathed 
better apace, and felt myself almost amused by the strange 
scenes going on around. Mrs. Burke had now prepared her 
antidote. Oil, salt, soapsuds, honey, vinegar, and whisky, were 
the principal ingredients. Of these, well shaken up in a quart- 
bottle, she poured part down her nephew's throat (he not being 
able to drink it out of a bowl), much as farriers drench a horse ; 
and as soon as the first gulp was down, she asked poor Moore if 
he felt any easier. He answered her question only by pushing 
back the antidote, another drop of which he absolutely refused 
to touch. She made a second effort to drench him, lest it might 
be too late ; but ere anything more could be done, the doctor, 
or rather apothecary and man-midwife, arrived, when bleeding, 
blistering, etc. etc., were had recourse to, and on the third day 
1 was totally recovered ; my poor friend got better but slowly, 
and after two dangerous relapses. 

The incidents which had taken place in Castlebar during 
the French invasion, three years before, were too entertaining 
not to be pried into (now I was upon the spot) with all my zeal 
and perseverance. The most curious of battles, which was 
fought there, had always excited my curiosity. I was anxious 
to discover what really caused so whimsical a defeat. • But so 
extremely did the several narratives I heard vary — from the 
official bulletin to the tale of the private soldier — that I found 
no possible means of deciding on the truth but by hearing 
every story, and striking an average respecting their veracity, 
which plan, together with the estimate of probabilities, might 
perhaps bring me pretty near the true state of the affair. There 
had certainly been a battle and flight more humorous in their 
nature and result than any that had ever before been fought or 
accomplished by a British army. Neither powder, ball, nor 
bayonet had fair claim to the victory ; but to a single true 
blunder was attributable that curious defeat of our pampered 
army — horse, foot, and artillery — in half-an-hour, by a handful 
of half-starved Frenchmen. So promptly (as I heard) was it 
effected, that the occurrence was immediately named — and I 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



307 



suppose it still retains the appellation — "The races of Castlebar." 
I cannot vouch for any single piece of information I acquired ; 
but I can repeat some of the best 'of it, and my readers may 
strike the average as I do, and form their own conclusions on 
the subject. At all events, the relation may amuse them ; and, 
as far as the detail of such an event can possibly do, afford a 
glance at French and Irish, civil and military, high and low, 
aristocracy and plebeians, undoubtedly proving that, after a 
battle is over, it suggests the simile of a lady after her baby is 
born — what was a cause of great uneasiness soon becomes a source 
of great amusement. 

To attain this, my laudable object, the first thing I had to 
do was, as far as practicable, to fancy myself a general ; and in 
that capacity to ascertain the errors by wliich the battle was 
lost, and the conduct of the enemy after their victory. Exptr 
ricntia docct ; and by these means I might obviate the same dis- 
aster on any future occasion. In pursuance of this fanciful 
hypothesis, my primary step was, of course, to reconnoitre the 
position occupied by our troops and those of the enemy on that 
engagement ; and in order to do this with effect, I took with me 
a very clever man, a serjeant of the Kilkenny militia, who had 
been trampled over by Chapman's heavy horse in their hurry to 
get off, and left, with half his bones broken, to recover as well 
as he could. He afterward returned to Castlebar, where he 
married, and continued to reside. An old surgeon was likewise 
of our party, who had been with the army, and had (as he in- 
formed me) made a most deliberate retreat when he saw the rout 
begin. He described the whole affair to me, being now and 
then interrupted and "put in," as the corporal called it, when 
he was running out of the course, or drawing the long-bow. 
Three or four country fellows (who, it proved, had been rebels), 
wondering what brought us three together, joined the group ; 
and, on the whole, I was extremely amused. 

The position shown me, as originally held by the defeated, 
seemed, to my poor civil understanding, one of the most difficult 
in the world to be routed out of. Our army was drawn up on a 



308 



barrlngton's personal sketches 



declivity of steep, rugged ground, with a narrow lake at its foot, 
at the right whereof was a sort of sludge-bog, too thick to swim 
in, and too thin to walk upon — snipes alone, as they said, having 
any fixed residence in or lawful claim to it. On the other side 
of the lake, in front of our position, was a hill covered with 
underwood, and having a winding road down its side. In our 
rear was the town of Castlebar, and divers stone walls termi- 
nated and covered our left. None of my informants could agree 
either as to the number of our troops or cannon ; they all differed 
even to the extent of thousands of men, and from four to twenty 
pieces of cannon. Every one of the parties, too, gave his own 
account in his own way. One of the rebels swore, that " though 
he had nothing but ' this same little switch ' (a thick cudgel) in 
his fist, he knocked four or five troopers off their beasts, as they 
were galloping over himself, till the French gentlemen came up 
and skivered them ; and when they were once down, the ' devil 
a much life ' was long left in them." 

"Were you frightened, Mr. O'Donnell?" said I (he told me 
that was his name). 

" By my sowl !" replied O'Donnell, who seemed a decent sort 
of farmer, " if you had been in it that same day, your honour 
would have had no great objections to be out of it agin." 

" Now," said I, " pray, Serjeant Butler, how came the Kil- 
kenny to run away that day so soon and with so little reason ?" 

" Becaize we were ordered to run away," answered the 
serjeant. 

" How can you say that, serjeant?" said the doctor. " I was 
myself standing bolt upright at the left of the Kilkenny when 
they ran without any order." 

" yes, indeed ! to be sure, doctor ! " said Serjeant Butler ; 
" but were you where I was when Captain Millar the aidycam 
ordered us off in no time ?" 

" He did not," replied the doctor. 

" Why, then, since you make me curse, by my sowl he did ; 
becaize the officers afterward all said, that when he ordered us 
off, he forgot half what he had to say to us." 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



309 



" And pray, what was the other half, Serjeant V inquired E 

u Ah, then, I'll tell you that, counsellor," replied Butler. 
" That same aidycam was a fat, bloated gentleman, and they said 
he was rather thick-winded, like a beast, when his mind was not 
easy : so he comes up (my lord was looking at the fight, and did 
not mind him), and he kept puffing and blowing away while he 
was ordering us, till he came to the words, 1 you'll get off,' or 
'you'll advance backwards/ or some words of the same kind, I 
can't exactly say what ; — but it seems, when he desired us to 
make off, he forgot to say ' thirty yards/ as the officers told us 
at Tuam was the general's word of command : — and as he desired 
us to make off, but didn't order us when to stop, by my sowl 
some of us never stopped or stayed for thirty good miles, and 
long miles too, only to get a drink of water or half-a-noggin of 
whisky, if there was any in the alehouse. And sorry enough we 
were, and sore likewise ! Then there was that Chapman and his 
heavy horse ; troth I believe every horse in the place cantered 
over us as if we were sods of turf. They had no mercy on us ; 
many a poor Kilkenny lad couldn't get out of their way while 
they were making off, and so they tumbled over the Kilkenny 
themselves, and all were tumbling and rolling together, and the 
French were coming on to stick us ; and we were trampled and 
flattened in the dust, so that you'd hardly know a corpse from a 
sheet of brown paper, only for the red coat upon it." 

The doctor now attempted to tell the story in his way, when 
the Kilkenny Serjeant, being at length a little provoked at the 
other's numerous interruptions and contradictions, exclaimed, 
" Arrah ! doctor, be asy ; it's I can tell the counsellor, for it's I 
that was in it, and almost kilt too ; and that's more than you 
were, barring with the fright /" 

The doctor gave him a look of sovereign contempt, and me a 
significant wink, as much as to say, " The fellow is mad, and 
drunk into the bargain." 

However, the Serjeant conquered all opposition, and pro- 
ceeded to give me the full narrative in his own dialect. 
" Counsellor," said he, " do you know that Chapman — so I think 
they called him — is as tall as any May-pole ? " 



310 



barrington's personal sketches 



" Very well," said I. 

" Well/' said the serjeant, " on the spot near the bog, where 
the devil could not get at us without drying it first and foremost 
— there we were drawn up at first, all so neat and tight on the 
ridge there, one would think us like iron rails, every lad of us. 
Yery well ; being firm and fast as aforesaid on the ridge, with a 
shaking bog by the side of the Chapmans — bad cess to them, 
man and beast ! Oh ! it was not most agreeable when the 
French let fly at us without giving us the least notice in life j 
and by my sowl, they hit some of the boys of our regiment, and 
that same set them a roaring and calling for a drink of water 
and the doctor ! but the devil a doctor was in it (can you deny 
that same ?) ; and his honour, Lord Ormond, our colonel, grew red 
in the face with anger, or something or other, when he heard the 
boys bawling for water, and good reason they had, for by my 
sowl they were hilt sure enuff. So we leathered at the French 
across the water, and the French leathered at us likewise. Devil 
such a cracking ever you heard, counsellor, as on that day ; and 
by the same token it would make a dog laugh to see how Cap- 
tain Shortall with his cannons let fly at the French out of the 
bushes ; and by my sowl, they were not idle either ! So we 
were all fighting mighty well, as I heard General Lake say in 
the rear of us ; and as I looked round and took off my cap to 
hurrah, I heard the devils roar at my elbow, and saw my poor 
comrade, Ned Dougherty, staggering back for all the world just 
as if he was drunk, and the devil a nose on his face any more 
than on the back of my hand, counsellor, the present minute ; 
and on a second glance at poor Ned I saw one of his eyes not a 
whit better off than his nose ; so I called as loud as I could for 
a doctor, but the devil a one showed." 

The doctor could stand the imputation no longer, and imme- 
diately gave the retort not courteous to the Serjeant. 

" Why, then, do you hear that ? " said the serjeant quite 
coolly. " Arrah ! now, how can you say you were in it ? When 
Ned Dougherty was kilt, you know you were sitting behind the 
cannon ; and the devil a bit of you would have been seen while 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



311 



the powder was going, if the nose was off the general, let alone 
Xed Dougherty." 

I feared much that my whole inquiries would be frustrated 
by the increase of this dispute, when one of the country fellows 
who was by said, " You're right enuff, serjeant. It was myself 
and two boys more, after yees all ran away, that pulled the 
doctor from under a cart ; but we let him go, becaize he towld 
us he had ten chilJcr and a wife, who woidd crack her heart if 
she thought he was slaughtered ; and that's the truth, and 
nothing else — though never a wife or child ever ye had, 
doctor." 

I now winked at the doctor not to mind the fellows, and re- 
quested the serjeant to go on with the batik. 

" And welcome, counsellor/' said he ; " stay, where did I 
leave off ? ! ay, at Xed Dougherty's nose ; very well, poor 
Xed wasn't kilt dead ; only lost his nose and eye, and is very 
comfortable now, as he says, in Kilmainham. Very well, as I 
was saying, we went on slashing away like devils across the 
water, when, by my sowl, I heard some cracks up at the left of 
us, and the balls began to whiz all across us, lengthways. ' What 
the deuce is this job ? ' says I. ' Hang me if I know,' said the 
serjeant-major ; when Captain Millar, the general's aidyeam, 
comes up full pelt, and orders us to get off as aforesaid. When 
we heard that same order, we thought we were fairly beat ; and 
so, losing no time, set off as hard as we could to get into Castle- 
bar town again ere the French could take it before us. And 
then Chapman's people, bad chance to them ! cried out, ' Get on, 
get on ! ' and galloped away as if the devil was under their tails, 
and no more minded the Kilkenny than if we were Xorway rats, 
trampling us up and down, and some of them tumbling over our 
carcases. You'd think it was a race-course. My. ribs were all 
knocked in, and my collar-bone broken ; and — and — that's all I 
know, counsellor." 

u Is that all, serjeant ?" asked I. 

" no, counsellor," replied he. " I have more to tell, now I 
think of it. Every boy in our regiment declared, if it had been 



312 



B ARLINGTON'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



Hutchinson that commanded us, the devil a one would run 
away if he stayed till this time, or go to the French either ; 
but all the lads used to say afterward, ( Why should we fight 
under Lake (whom we neither knew nor cared to know), when 
we had our own brave country general to the fore, that we'd 
stick by till death?' and I forgot to tell you, counsellor — a 
hundred or so of our boys who could not run fast, thought it 
better to stay quiet and easy with the French than be murdered 
without the least reason imaginable, and so they stayed and 
were treated very handsome ; only owld Corney hanged a good 
many of the poor boys at Ballynamuck ; and the devil a bit 
better is Ireland made by hanging anybody — and that's the 
truth, and nothing else ! Faith, if they hanged a quarter of us 
all, another quarter would be wanting it against the next assizes. 
So, what use is hanging the boys ? Little good will it ever do 
the remainder ! " 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



313 



BEEAKFASTS AT BALLINROBE. 

The following is almost too trifling an anecdote to be recorded ; 
but, as it characterises place, time, and people, and is besides of 
a novel description, I cannot deny myself the pleasure of 
relating it. The period at which it occurred was that of the 
Mayo election alluded to in the last sketch. 

After some days of hard labour, bad food, worse wine, and no 
tranquillity, Mr. Martin (I think that was his name), the owner 
of an alehouse in our interest, told us with great glee he had 
got in a few loaves of good white bread and a paper of tea from 
Castlebar, fit for the chancellor, together with fresh eggs and 
new milk ; and that if we would vouchsafe to put up with his 
own "little paved parlour," we should have a roaring fire, 
capital buttered toast, and, in short, everything to our satis- 
faction, one meal anyhow ; it was unfortunate, and a thousand 
pities he had nothing better for the " dear counsellors ; " but 
there was to be a fine slip of a pig killed in the town that night 
by a friend of his own, and we might have a beautiful griskin 
next morning broiled to our liking. 

My friend Moore and I were delighted at the announcement 
of a comfortable breakfast (for some time a stranger to us), and 
immediately went into the little paved parlour, where every- 
thing was soon in full array according to Mr. Daniel Martin's 
promises. The turf fire glowed fit to roast an ox ; abundance of 
hot buttered toast was quickly placed before it ; plenty of new- 
laid eggs appeared — some boiled, some poached; a large saucepan 
with hot water was bubbling on the ashes ; our tea was made (as 
the teapot leaked) in a potteen-jug ; and everything appeared in 
the most proper state to feast two lately half-fed Dublin barris- 



314 



barrington's personal sketches 



ters (as they called us). My mouth watered, Moore licked his 
lips, and we never sat down to the sensual enjoyment of the 
palate with more go4t or satisfaction than in Mr. Martin's 
" little paved parlour." 

It seemed as if nothing short of an earthquake (perhaps not 
even that) could have disappointed us. But I do not recollect 
any incident during a long life so completely verifying the old 
aphorism of " Many a slip between the cup and the lip." During 
our happy state of anticipation rather a loud rap was heard : — I 
was just in the act of cracking the shell of an egg, with my back 
to the door, and cried out, " Come in ! come in ! " Nobody 
entered ; but another and still louder rap succeeded. My friend, 
not being at that instant so busily occupied as I, stepped to the 
door, with the purpose of telling whoever it might be to " call 
again " in half-an-hour. I meanwhile proceeded with my egg ; 
when I heard Moore, who was not in the habit of using impre- 
cations, cry out piteously, "Oh! blood and thunder!" and his 
exclamation was accompanied by a crash that alarmed me. On 
turning rapidly round, to aid him in any possible emergency, I 
saw my companion extended on the floor, his heels kicked up in 
the air, and eight or ten young pigs making the best of their 
way over the counsellor's prostrate body with great vivacity. 
Their mother, with divers deep and savage grunts, snorting, and 
catching the air through her enormous proboscis, took her way 
round the other side of the room, and effectually cut us off both 
from the door and our weapons on the breakfast-table. This 
manoeuvre certainly would have daunted much greater heroes 
than either of us pretended to be ; and I doubt if there is a field- 
marshal in the service either of his Britannic or Most Christian 
Majesty who would have felt himself quite at ease under similar 
circumstances. 

We had no retreat : the foe had anticipated us, and appeared 
both able and willing to slaughter us for the sake of her progeny. 
" Mount, Moore," said I. He limped, for his leg was hurt, to a 
high old-fashioned chest of drawers, which fortunately stood in 
a corner. Upon these drawers each of us got, and thence 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



315 



watched ulterior operations, but by no means considering our- 
selves out of danger from so frightful an enemy. 

That the reader who has not been accustomed to associate 
with swine at Ballinrobe may form a just idea of our situation, 
he shall be made accurately acquainted with the species of lady 
visitor we had to deal with. The eight or ten childer were what 
we call " piggin riggins," too old for a dainty and too young for 
bacon — the " hobble -de-hogs " of swinehood. Their mother liter- 
ally " towered above her sex," and was the lankiest and most 
bristly sow I ever beheld. Her high arched back, taller than a 
donkey's, springing from the abutments of her loins and shoul- 
ders, resembled a coarse rustic bridge ; her dangling teats swept 
the ground ; long loose flabby ears nearly concealed a pair of 
small fiery blood-shot sunken eyes, and their ends just covered 
one half of a mouth which, dividing her head as it were into an 
upper and under storey, clearly showed that she had the means 
of taking what bite she pleased out of anything. Her tusks, 
indeed, like a boar's, peeped under her broad and undulating 
nostrils, which were decorated with an iron ring and hook, that 
appeared to afford the double power of defending the wearer 
against assaults and hooking in an enemy. 

Of such a description was the family that paid us this un- 
welcome visit, demonstrating thereby the uncertainty of all sub- 
lunary expectations. The fact was, that the lady, with ten of 
her childer, had been wallowing in the quagmire by the side of 
our parlour- window, which we had opened to give a part of the 
captive smoke an opportunity of escaping — but which at the 
same time let out the savoury perfume of our repast ; this enter- 
ing piggy's sensitive nostrils, she was roused to action, and, 
grunting to her family as a trumpeter sounds 11 to horse," they 
made their way to the well-known door of the little paved par- 
lour, which finding closed (a very unusual circumstance), madam's 
temper was somewhat ruffled, and the catastrophe ensued. 
Ceremony from a sow, under such circumstances, could not be 
reasonably looked for, and any delay in disposing of our luxuries 
was still less to be expected. In her haste to accomplish that 



316 



barkington's personal sketches 



achievement, she had, on gaining admittance, run between the 
legs of Counsellor Thomas Moore, and, as on an inclined plane, 
she first raised, then deposited him upon the pavement ; and 
leaving him to the discretion of her pig gin riggins, changed her 
own course to our breakfast-table, which having duly overset, 
the whole was at her mercy — of which, however, she showed 
none the toast, the bread, the eggs — in short everything, dis- 
appearing in marvellous quick time. 

The two counsellors, from their elevated position, beheld the 
destruction of all these comforts, and congratulated themselves 
on the good luck of being personally out of danger : but here 
also we " reckoned without our host :" we entertained no doubt 
of madam sow's peaceable departure, and did not wish to expose 
ourselves to the ridicule of being discovered perched upon a 
chest of drawers. One of the piggins, however, not content with 
the prey he had already got, in roaming about for more, and un- 
accustomed to boiling water, happened to overset the large 
saucepan which was steaming upon the hob, and which descended 
full on his unseasoned hide. Hereupon, feeling his tender 
bristles getting loose, and at the first scratch coming away with 
a due quantity of scarf-skin to keep them together, he set up 
the most dreadful cries I ever heard, even from the most obsti- 
nate of his race when the butcher was taking the preliminary 
steps towards manufacturing corned pork — that comrade of 
pease-pudding, and glory of the British navy ! 

The mamma of course attributed the cries of her darling to 
some torture inflicted by the Christians upon the drawers ; to 
the foot of which she therefore trotted, and with deep and loud 
grunts looked up at us, opening her wide jaws, and seeming to 
say, "I wish I had you both down here, and my dear little 
piggin riggins should soon be revenged for your cruelty ! " I 
thought that, once or twice, she appeared disposed to try if she 
ould balance her body on her hind-legs and rear up against the 
chest of drawers ; in which case, even if her jaws did not clearly 
take hold of us, the strong iron hook in her nose would be sure 
to catch and haul down one or other by the leg — as, if once 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



317 



hooked, it would only be a trial of strength between the sow's 
snout and the tendo Achillis of either counsellor. We could 
not kick at her for fear of the same hook ; so we kept dancing 
and stamping, to try if that would deter her. But she was too 
much bent on mischief to care for our defensive operations ; and 
we were ultimately obliged to resort to that step generally taken 
by people when they find themselves failing in point of forti- 
tude, and manfully cried out — " Murder ! murder !" But as no 
one came, Moore said they were so used to that cry in Ballinrobe 
(and particularly in the " little paved parlour "), that the people 
never minded it; so we changed our tone, and roared "Fire! 
fire!" 

In a second the entire population of the house was in the 
room, when an eclaircissemcnt took place. Still, however, the 
lady would not beat a retreat : — sticks, flails, handles of rakes, 
and pitchforks, belaboured her in vain ; she minded them no 
more than straws. At length, they seized hold of her tail : — 
this action seemed to make her imagine that it was desired to 
detain her in the room ; upon which, that spirit of contradiction 
inherent in more animals than one, determined her to go out. 
She accordingly rushed off, followed by the whole brood, and we 
saw no more of her or her hopeful family. 

After they were gone, it took Mr. Martin above five minutes 
to lavish on the sow and piggin riggins every imprecation his 
vocabulary could furnish ; and he concluded thus : — " Ough ! 
may the curse of Crummell light on yee, for a greedy owld sow 
as you are ! yee need not have taken such trouble to cater for 
your childer. If they had just peeped up the chimney, they'd 
have seen their father as well dried and smoked as any boar that 
ever was kilt in Ballinrobe these two years, anyhow ; and by 
my sowl I expect to have six of the childer along with him by 
next Michaelmas at latest." 

All being now arranged, we begged Mr. Martin to replenish 
our board as quickly as possible. Daniel, however, looked grave 
and chop-fallen, and in two monosyllables apprised us of the 
extent of our misfortunes. " I can't," said I. 



318 



b Arlington's personal sketches 



"Why?" we both asked in a breath. 

"Oh, holy poker !" exclaimed Mr. Dan Martin, "what shall 
I do to feed yee, counsellors dear ? By my sowl, Sir Neil will 
skiver me ! Not a bit or sup more I have in this same house. 
Arrah ! Mary ! Mary !" 

"What's that, avourneen?" said Mary, entering. 

" What have you in the house, Mary ? " demanded the land- 
lord. 

" Ough ! the sorrah a taste was left from the Newport voters, 
barring what we kept for the counsellors." 

"And have you literally nothing, Mr. Martin?" demanded 

we. 

" All as one," was the reply. " Sir Neil's men got the last 
of the meat ; and a minute or two ago, who should come in — 
bad cess to him ! but Denis Brown Sallough's body-sarvant, 
and pretended, the villain, that he was Sir Neil's man ; and he 
bought all the rest of the bread and tay for ready money. If I 
had thought, counsellors, of the incivility my sow put on yees — 
bad luck to her sowl, egg and bird ! — I'd have seen Denis Brown 
Sallough's body-sarvant carded like a tithe-proctor before I'd 
have sold him as much as would fill a hollow tooth ; and by 
my sowl he has plenty of them, counsellors dear ! " 

" Have you no eggs, Mr. Martin ?" 

"Why, plase your honour, it's not two hours since the high 
sheriff's cook (as he called himself) came and took every cock 
and hen I had in the world (he paid like a gentleman to be 
sure), for he has a great dinner to-day, and being disappointed 
of poultry, he kilt every mother's babe of mine, gentlemen." 

"You have milk?" 

"I'd have plenty of that stuff, counsellors, only (0 my poor 
cow and the three heifers !) Sir Neil's voters are generally so 
dry, and by my sowl, I believe not far from hungry either, that 
they, five or six times a-day if they can, get a drink out of the 
poor animals. They have been milked, indeed, almost to 
death, gentlemen, and that's the truth, and nothing else but 
the true truth" Eecollecting himself, however, he added — 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



319 



" But, counsellors, dear, if your honours can put up with our 
oxon little breakfast, you'll be more welcome nor the flowers of 
May, and there will be plenty of that, gentlemen, such as it is, 
and I '11 tell you what it is. First and foremost, there 's no 
better than the apple pratees, and they are ready hot and 
smothering for ourselves and that dirty sow and her childer, 
and be hanged to them ! but the devil a one they will get this 
day, for affronting yees, gentlemen ! And next to the pratees, 
there's the potteen. I stilVd it myself a year ago, and hid it 
under ground when the elections came on ; but I get a bottle or 
two out always. And then, gentlemen, I can broil for you (but 
that's a secret, plase your honours) a few beautiful rashers out 
of the two flitches I have hid on a little shelf up the chimney 
for fear of the two-guinea freeholders ; — it's more like clear 
horn nor bacon, counsellors dear," pursued he, hauling down a 
side of it as he spoke, and cutting out several rashers. 

" I suppose," said I, " this is some of your good sow's family ; 
— if so, I shall have great pleasure in paying her off in her own 
style?" 

"Why then, counsellor," said Mr. Martin, laughing and 
rubbing his hands — "you are a very genius at finding out 
things ! — ha ! ha ! — By my sowl, it is a sister of the said sow's, 
sure enuff — bad luck to the whole breed for eating the buttered 
toast this blessed morning !" 

The result was, that we got rashers, potatoes, and potteen, 
for our breakfast ; at the end of which Mr. Martin brought in a 
jug of capital home-brewed ale ; — and the possession of this, 
also, he said was a secret, or the gauger would play the deuce 
with him. AVe fared, in a word, very well ; I much doubt, to 
speak truth, if it were not a more appropriate meal for a des- 
perate bad day and much hard work than a lady's teapot would 
afford ; and, in pursuance of this notion, I had a rasher, potato, 
and draught of good ale every day afterward during my stay at 
that abominable election. 

English people would hardly credit the circumstances at- 
tending an electioneering contest in Ireland, so late as twenty- 



320 



baeeington's personal sketches 



three years ago* Little attention was then paid by the country 
gentlemen to their several assize-towns ; and there was not a 
single respectable inn at Ballinrobe. Somebody indeed had 
built the shell of a hotel ; but it had not been plastered either 
within or without, or honoured by any species of furniture : it 
had not indeed even banisters to the stairs. 

Perhaps the time of year and desperate state of the weather 
(uncheckered by one ray of sunshine) tended to disgust me with 
the place ; but I certainly never in my lifetime was so annoyed 
as at the election of Ballinrobe, though everything that could 
possibly be done for our comfort ivas done by Sir John Brown 
— than whom I never met any gentleman more friendly or 
liberal. 

* These Sketches first appeared forty-two years ago. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



321 



NEW MODE OF SERVING A PEOCESS. 

The election for County Galway was proceeding whilst I was 
refreshing myself at Rock House, Castlebar, after various adven- 
tures at Ballinrobe, as already mentioned. I met at Rock House 
an old fellow who told me his name was Ned Bodkin, a Conne- 
mara boy, and that he had come with two or three other lads 
only to search for voters to take to Galway for Squire Martin's 
poll Bodkin came to Mrs. Burke's house to consult Counsellor 
Moore, and I determined to have a full conversation with him as 
to the peninsula of Connemara and its statistics. He sent off 
eight or nine freeholders (such as they were) in eight-and-forty 
hours ; they were soon polled for the squire, and came back as 
happy as possible. 

I asked Mr. Bodkin where he lived. 

" Ah ! then where should it be, but at Connemara V said he. 

" And what's your trade or calling when you're at home, Mr. 
Bodkin ?" inquired L 

" Why, plase your honour, no poor man could live upon one 
calling now-a-days, as we did in owld times, or no calling at all, 
as when the squire was in it. Now I butchers a trifle, your 
honour! and burns the kelp when I'm entirely idle. Then I 
take a touch now and then at the still, and smuggle a few in Sir 
Neil's cutter when the coast is clear." 

"Anything else, Mr. Bodkin?" 

" Ough yes, your honour, 'tis me that tans the brogue leather 
for the colonel's yeomen (God bless them !) ; besides, I'm bailiff 
of the town lands, and make out our election registries ; and 
when I've nothing else to do, I keep the squire's accounts, and 
by my sowl that same is no asy matter, plase your honour, till 
one's used to it ! but, God bless him, up and down, wherever he 

VOL. II. Y 



322 



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goes, here or hereafter ! he's nothing else but a good master to 
us all." 

" Mr. Ned Bodkin," continued I, " everybody says the king's 
writ does not run in Connemara?" 

" Ough ! then whoever towld your honour that is a big liar. 
By my sowl, when the King George's writ (crossing himself) 
comes within smell of the big house, the boys soon make him 
run as if the seven red devils was under his tail, saving your 
presence. It's King George's writ that does run at Connemara, 
plase your worship, all as one as a black greyhound. Oh, the 
deuce a stop he stays till he gets into the court-house of Galway 
again !" 

Mr. Bodkin talked allegorically, so I continued in the same 
vein : — " And pray, if you catch the king's writ, what do you do 
then?" 

" Plase your honour, that story is asy towld. Do, is it? I'll 
tell your honour that. Why, if the prossy-sarver is cotched in 
the territories of Ballynahinch, by my sowl if the squire's not in 
it, he'll either eat his parchments every taste, or go down into 
the owld coal-pit sure enuff, whichever is most agreeable to the 
said prossy-sarver." 

"And I suppose he generally prefers eating his parchments?" 
said I. 

"Your honour's right enuff," replied Mr. Bodkin. "The 
varment generally gulps it down mighty glib ; and, by the same 
token, he is seldom or ever obstrepulous enuff to go down into 
the said coal-pit." 

"Dry food, Mr. Bodkin," said I. 

" Ough ! by no manner of manes, your honour. We always 
give the prossy-sarver, poor crethur ! plenty to moisten his said 
food with and wash it down well, anyhow ; and he goes back to 
the 'sizes as merry as a water-dog, and swears (God forgive him !) 
that he was hilt at Connemara by people unknown ; becaize if he 
didn't do that, he knows well enuff he'd soon be kilt dead by 
people he did know, and that's the truth, plase your honour, and 
nothing else." 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



323 



"Does it often happen, Mr. Bodkin?" said L 

" Ough ! plase your honour, only that our own bailiffs and 
yeomen soldiers keep the sheriffs' officers out of Connemara, we'd 
have a rookery of them afore every 'sizes and sessions, when the 
master's amongst the Sassanachs in London city. We made 
one lad, when the master was in said foreign parts, eat every 
taste of what he towld us was a chancellor's bill, that he brought 
from Dublin town to sarve in our quarter. We laid in ambush, 
your honour, and cotched him on the bridge ; but we did not 
throw him over that, though we made believe that we would. 
'We have you, you villain !' said I. ' Spare my life !' says he. 
'What for?' said I. 'Oh! give me marcy!' says the sarver. 
1 The deuce a taste,' said I. ' I've nothing but a chancellor's 
bill,' said he. 1 Out with it,' says I. So he ups and outs with 
his parchment, plase your honour ; by my sowl, then, there was 
plenty of that same ! 

" 1 And pray, what name do you go by when you are at 
home?' said I. 'Oh then, don't you know Burke the bailiff?' 
said he. 'Are you satisfied to eat it, Mr. Burke ?' said I. 'If I 
was as hungry as twenty hawks, I could not eat it all in less 
than a fortnight anyhow,' said the sarver, 'it's so long and crisp.' 
' Never fear,' said I. 

" ' Why shu'dn't I fear?" said he. 

" ' What's that to you ?' said I. ' Open your mouth and take 
a bite, if you plase.' ' Spare my life ! " said he. ' Take a bite 
if you plase, Mr. Burke,' again said I. 

" So he took a bite, plase your honour ; but I saw fairly it 
was too dry and tough for common eating, so I and the rest of 
the hoys brought the lad to my little cabin, and we soaked the 
chancellor in potteen in my little keg, and I towld him he should 
stay his own time till he ate it all as soon as it was tinder, and 
at three meals a-day, with every other little nourishment we 
could give the crethur. So we stayed very agreeable till he had 
finished the chancellor's bill every taste, and was drunk with it 
every day twice, at any rate ; and then I towld him he might 
go back to Gal way town and welcome. But he said he'd got 



324 



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kinder treatment and better liquor nor ever trie villain of a sub- 
sheriff gave any poor fellow, and if I'd let him, he'd fain stay 
another day or two to bid us good-bye. ' So, Mary,' said I to 
the woman my wife, ' 'commodate the poor officer a day or two 
more to bid us good-bye.' ' He's kindly welcome,' says she. So 
Burke stayed till the 'sizes was over, and then swore he lay for 
dead on the road side, and did not know what became of the 
chancellor's bill, or where it was deposited at said time. I had 
towld him, your honour, I'd make good his oath for him ; and, 
accordingly, we made him so drunk that he lay all as one as a 
dead man in the ditch till we brought him home ; and then he 
said he could kiss the holy 'pistle and gospel safe in the court- 
house, that he lay for dead in a ditch by reason of the treatment 
he got at Connemara ; and Mr. Burke turned out a good fellow ; 
and the deuce a prossy-sarver ever came into Connemara for a 
year after, but he sent a gossoon aforehand to tell us where 
we'd cotch the sarver afore sarvice. Oh ! God rest your sowl, 
Mr. Burke, and deliver it safe ! it's us that were sorry enuff 
when we heard the horse kilt you dead. Oh, bad cess to him ! 
the likes of ye didn't come since to our quarter.' 

This mode of making process-servers eat the process was not 
at all confined to Connemara. I have myself known it practised 
often at the colliery of Doonan, the estate of my friend Hartpole, 
when his father Squire Bobert was alive. It was quite the 
custom ; and if a person in those times took his residence in 
the purlieus of that colliery, serving him with any legal process 
was entirely out of the question, for if a bailiff attempted it, he 
was sure to have either a meal of sheepskin, or a dive in a coal- 
pit, for his trouble. 

This species of outrage was, however, productive of greater 
evil than merely making the process-server eat his bill. Those 
whose business it was to serve processes in time against the 
assizes, being afraid to fulfil their missions, took a short cut, and 
swore they had actually served them, though they had never 
been on the spot, whereby many a judgment was obtained sur- 
reptitiously and executed, on default, upon parties who had never 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



325 



heard one word of the business ; and thus whole families were 
ruined by the perjury of one process-server. 

The magistrates were all country gentlemen, very few of 
whom had the least idea of law proceedings further than when 
they happened to be directed against themselves ; and the com- 
mon fellows, when sworn on the holy Evangelists, conceived they 
could outwit the magistrates by kissing their own thumb which 
held the book, instead of the cover of it ; or by swearing, " By 
the vartue of my oath it's through (true), your worship !" (putting 
a finger through a button-hole). 

So numerous were the curious acts and anecdotes of the Irish 
magistrates of those days, that were I to recite many of them, 
the matter-of fact English (who have no idea of Irish freaks of 
this nature) would, I have no doubt, set me down as a complete 
romancer. 

I conceived it would much facilitate the gratification of my 
desire to learn the customs of the Irish magisterial justices by 
becoming one myself. I therefore took out my didimus at once 
for every county in Ireland ; and being thus a magistrate for 
thirty-two counties, I of course, wherever I went, learned all 
their doings ; and I believe no body of men ever united more 
authority and less law than did the Irish justices of thirty years 
since. 



326 



barrington's personal sketches 



DONNTBKOOK FAIR 

The fair of Donnybrook, near Dublin, has been long identified 
with the name and character of the lower classes of Irish people ; 
and, so far as the population of its metropolis may fairly stand 
for that of a whole country, the identification is just. This 
remark applies, it is true, to several years back ; as that entire 
revolution in the natural Irish character, which has taken place 
within my time, must have extended to all their sports and places 
of amusement ; and Donnybrook fair, of course, has had its full 
share in the metamorphosis. 

The old Donnybrook fair, however, is on record ; and so long 
as the name exists, will be duly appreciated. Mr. Lysaght's 
popular song of " The Sprig of Shillelah and Shamrock so 
Green,"* gives a most lively sketch of that celebrated meeting — 
some of the varieties and peculiarities of which may be amusing, 
and will certainly give a tolerable idea of the Dublin commonalty 
in the eighteenth century. 

All Ireland is acquainted with the sort of sports and recrea- 
tions which characterise Donnybrook. But the English, in 
general, are as ignorant of an Irish fair as they are of every other 

* Two lines of Mr. Lysaght's song describe, quaintly, yet veritably, the prac- 
tical point of the scenes which occurred at that place of licensed eccentricities. 
He speaks of the real Irish Paddy, who 

" Steps into a tent, just to spend half-a-crown, 
Slips out, meets a friend, and for love knocks him down ! 
With his sprig of shillelah and shamrock so green." 

It is a literal fact that the blow is as instantly forgiven, and the twain set a-drink- 
ing together in great harmony, as if nothing had happened. 

A priest constantly attended in former times at an alehouse near Kilmainham, 
to marry any couples who may have agreed upon that ceremony when they were 
drunk, and made up their minds for its immediate celebration so soon as they 
should be sober : and after the ceremony he sent them back to the fair for one more 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



327 



matter respecting the " sister kingdom," and that is saying a 
great deaL John Bull, being the most egotistical animal of the 
creation, measures every man's coat according to his own cloth, 
and fancying an Irish mob to be like a London rabble, thinks 
that Donnybrook fair is composed of all the vice, robbery, 
swindling, and spectacle — together with still rougher manners of 
its own — of his dear St. Bartholomew. 

Never was John more mistaken. I do not know any one 
trait of character conspicuous alike in himself and brother Pat, 
save that wliich is their common disgrace and incentive to all 
other vices, drinking ; and even in drunkenness the English far 
surpass Pat — though perhaps their superiority in tins respect 
may be attributable merely to their being better able to purchase 
the poison ; and if they have not the means ready, they are far 
more expert at picking of pockets, burglary, or murder, to pro- 
cure them — as Mr. John Ketch (operative at his Majesty's gaol of 
Newgate in London) can bear ample testimony. 

There is no doubt but all mobs are tumultuous, violent, and 
more or less savage (no matter what they meet about) ; it is the 
nature of democratic congregations to be. Those of England are 
thoroughly wicked, and, when roused, most ferocious ; but they 
show little genuine courage, and a few soldiers by a shot or two 
generally send thousands of fellows scampering, to adjourn sine 
die. Formerly, I never saw an Irish mob that could not easily 
be rendered tractable and complacent by persons who, as they 
conceived, intended them fairly and meant to act kindly by 
them. So much waggery and fun ever mingled with their most 
riotous adventures, that they were not unfrequently dispersed 

drink ; and the lady then went home an honest woman, and as happy as possible. 
Many hundred similar matches used, in old times, to be effected during this 
carnival. Mr. Lysaght also describes the happy consequences of such weddings 
with infinite humour. He says of the ulterior increase of each family — 

"and nine months after that 
A fine boy cries out, 1 How do you do, Father Pat ? 

With your sprig of shillelah and shamrock so green.' " 

[The priest was a suspended one. The fair was suppressed about twenty 
years ago. — Editor.] 



328 



baeeington's peesonal sketches 



by a good-humoured joke, when it would probably have required 
a regiment and the reading of a dozen riot-acts to do it by com- 
pulsion. 

A long erroneous system of ruling that people seems to have 
gradually, and at length definitively, changed the nature of the 
Irish character in every class and branch of the natives, and 
turned into political agitation what I remember only a taste for 
simple hubbub. The Irish have an indigenous gotit for fighting 
(of which they never can be divested), quite incomprehensible to 
a sober English farmer, whose food and handiwork are as regular 
as his clock. At Donnybrook, the scene had formerly no reser- 
vation as to the full exhibition of genuine Hibernian character ; 
and a description of one of the tents of that celebrated sporting 
fair will answer nearly for all of them, and likewise give a 
tolerable idea of most other fairs in the Emerald island at the 
same period. Having twice * run a narrow risk of losing my life 
at Donnybrook (the last time at its fair in 1790), I am entitled 
to remember its localities at least as well as any gentleman who 
never was in danger of ending his days there. 

The site of the fair is a green flat of no great extent, about a 
mile from Dublin city, and on the banks of a very shallow stream 
that runs dribbling under a high bridge : — fancy irregular houses 
on one side, and a highroad through the middle, and you will 
have a pretty good idea of that plain of festivity. 

Many and of various proportions were the tents which, in 
time past, composed the encampment upon the plains of Donny- 
brook ; and if persevering turbulence on the part of the Emeralders 
should ever put it into the heads of the members of his Majesty's 
government to hire a few bands of Cossacks to keep them in 
order (and I really believe they are the only folks upon earth 
who could frighten my countrymen), the model of a Donnybrook 
tent will be of great service to the Don-Eussian auxiliaries — the 
materials being so handy and the erection so facile. I shall 
therefore describe one accurately, that the Emperor Nicholas and 

* For the first of these occurrences see (vol. i.) my adventure with Counsellor 
Daly and Balloon Crosby. — {Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



329 



his brother Michael, who has seen something of Ireland already, 
may, upon any such treaty being signed, perceive how extremely 
well his Imperial Majesty's Tartars will be accommodated. 

Receipt for a Donnybrook Tent. 

Take eight or ten long wattles, or any indefinite number, ac- 
cording to the length you wish your tent to be (whether two 
yards or half-a-mile makes no difference as regards the archi- 
tecture or construction). Wattles need not be provided by pur- 
chase and sale, but may be readily procured any dark night by 
cutting down a sufficient number of young trees in the demesne 
or plantation of any gentleman in the neighbourhood — a pre- 
scriptive privilege, or rather practice, time immemorial, throughout 
all Ireland. 

Having procured the said wattles one way or other, it is only 
necessary to stick them down in the sod in two rows, turning 
round the tops like a woodbine arbour in a lady's flower-garden, 
tying the two ends together with neat ropes of hay, which any 
gentleman's farmyard can (during the night-time, as aforesaid) 
readily supply, — then fastening long wattles in like manner 
lengthways at top from one end to the other to keep all tight 
together ; and thus the " wooden walls " of Donnybrook are 
ready for roofing in ; and as the building materials cost nothing 
but danger, the expense is very trivial. 

A tent fifty feet long may be easily built in about five 
minutes, unless the builders should adopt the old mode of peeling 
the wattles ; and when once a wattle is stripped to its buff, lie 
must be a wise landlord indeed who could swear to the identity 
of the timber — a species of evidence, nevertheless, that the Irish 
woodrangers are extremely expert at* This precaution will not, 
however, be necessary for the Don Cossacks, who, being educated 
as highway robbers by the Emperor of all the Eussias, and act- 

* I recollect a man at the assizes of Maryborough swearing to the leg of his 
own goose, which was stolen — having found it in some gibld-broth at the robber's 
cabin. The witness was obviously right ; the web between the goose's toes being, 
he said, snipped and cut in a way he could perfectly identify. — (Author s note.) 



330 



barrington's personal sketches 



ing in that capacity in every country, cannot of course be called 
to account for a due exercise of their vocation. 

The covering of the tents is now only requisite ; this is 
usually done according to fancy ; and being unacquainted with 
the taste of the Eussian gentlemen on that head, I shall only 
mention the general mode of clothing the wattles used in my 
time — a mode that, from its singularity, had a far more imposing 
appearance than any encampment ever pitched by his Majesty's 
regular forces, horse, foot, or artillery. Every cabin, alehouse, 
and other habitation wherein quilts or bedclothes were used, or 
could be procured by civility or otherwise (except money, which 
was not current for such purposes), was ransacked for apparel 
wherewith to cover the wattles. The favourite covering was 
quilts, as long as such were forthcoming ; and when not, old 
winnowing sheets, sacks ripped open, rugs, blankets, etc. etc. 
Everything, in fact, was expended in the led line (few neigh- 
bours using that accommodation during the fair) — and recourse 
often had to women's apparel, as old petticoats, praskeens, etc. 
etc. 

The covering being spread over the wattles as tightly and 
snugly as the materials would admit, all was secured by hay- 
ropes and pegs. When completed, a very tall wattle with a 
dirty birch-broom, the hairy end of an old sweeping-brush, a 
cast-off lantern of some watchman, rags of all colours made into 
streamers, and fixed at the top by way of sign, formed the invi- 
tation to drinking ; — and when eating was likewise to be had, a 
rusty tin saucepan, or piece of a broken iron pot, was hung 
dangling in front, to crown the entrance and announce good 
cheer. 

The most amusing part of the coverings were the quilts, which 
were generally of patchwork, comprising scraps of all the hues 
in the rainbow — cut into every shape and size, patched on each 
other, and quilted together. 

As to furniture, down the centre, doors, old or new (which- 
ever were most handy to be lifted), were stretched from one end 
to the other, resting on hillocks of clay dug from underneath, and 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



331 



so forming a capital table with an agreeable variety both as to 
breadth and elevation. Similar constructions for benches were 
placed along the sides, but not so steady as the table ; so that 
when the liquor got the mastery of one convivial fellow, he would 
fall off, and the whole row generally following his example, per- 
haps ten or even twenty gallant shamrocks were seen on their 
backs, kicking up their heels, some able to get up again, some 
lying quiet and easy, singing, roaring, laughing, or cursing ; 
while others, still on their legs, were drinking and dancing, and 
setting the whole tent in motion, till all began to long for the 
open air, and a little wrestling, leaping, cudgelling, or fighting 
upon the green grass. The tent was then cleaned out and pre- 
pared for a new company of the shillelah boys. 

The best tents, that supplied " neat victuals," had a pot boil- 
ing outside on a turf fire, with good fat lumps of salt beef and 
cabbage, called " spooleens," always ready simmering for such 
customers as should like a sliver. The potatoes were plentiful, 
and salt Dublin Bay herrings also in abundance. There was, 
besides, a cold round or rump of beef at double price for the 
quality who came to see the curiosities. 

Except toys and trinkets for children, merchandise of any 
sort they seemed to have a contempt for ; but these were bought 
up with great avidity ; and in the evening, when the parents had 
given the chUclcr a glass each of the cratur (as they called whisky), 
" to keep the cowld out of their little stomachs," every trumpet 
or drum, fiddle, whistle, or pop-gun, which the fond mothers had 
bestowed, was set sounding (all together) over the green, and 
chimed in with a dozen fiddlers and as many pipers jigging away 
for the dance, — an amalgamation of sounds among the most ex- 
traordinary that ever tickled the ear of a musician. Everybody, 
drunk or sober, took a share in the long dance, and I have seen 
a row of a hundred couple labouring at their jig-steps till they 
fell off actually breathless, and rather wetter than if they had 
been river deities of the Donnybrook. 

Tins, however, must be remarked as constituting a grand dis- 
tinction between the beloved St. Bartholomew of the Cockneys 



332 



barrlngton's personal sketches 



and the Emeralders' glory ; — that at the former, robbers, cheats, 
gamblers, and villains of every description collect, and are most 
active in their respective occupations ; whilst at the latter no 
gambling of any sort existed ; nor were thieves, pickpockets, or 
swindlers often there : for a good reason — because there was no 
money worth stealing, and plenty of emptiness in the pockets of 
the amateurs. However, love reigned in all its glory, and Cupid 
expended every arrow his mother could make for him ; but with 
this difference, that love is in general represented as discharging 
his shafts into people's hearts, whereas, at Donnybrook, he always 
aimed at their heads ; and before it became quite dusk he never 
failed to be very successful in his archery. It was after sunset, 
indeed, that sweethearts made up their matches ; and a priest 
(Father Kearny of Liffy Street, a good clergy) told me that more 
marriages were celebrated in Dublin the week after Donnybrook 
fair, than in any two months during the rest of the year : the 
month of June being warm and snug (as he termed it), smiled on 
everything that was good, and helped the liquor in making ar- 
rangements ; and with great animation he added, that it was a 
gratifying sight to see his young parishioners who had made up 
their matches at Donnybrook coming there in a couple of years 
again, to buy whistles for their children. 

The horse part of the fair was not destitute of amusement — 
as there was a large ditch with a drain, and a piece of a wall, 
which the sellers were always called upon to " leather their horses 
over " before anybody would bid for them ; and the tumbles 
which those venturous jockeys constantly received, with the in- 
difference wherewith they mounted and began again, were truly 
entertaining. 

The common Irish are the most heroic horsemen I ever saw ; 
it was always one of their attributes. They ride on the horse's 
bare back with rapidity and resolution ; and, coming from fairs, 
I have often seen a couple, or sometimes three fellows, riding 
one bare-backed horse as hard as he could go, and safely, not 
one of whom, if they were on their own legs, could stand per- 
pendicular half-a-minute. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



333 



It is a mistake to suppose that Donnybrook was a remark- 
able place for fighting, or that much blood was ever drawn there. 
On the contrary, it was a place of good humour. Men, to be 
sure, were knocked down now and then, but there was no malice 
in it. A head was often cut, but quickly tied up again. The 
women first parted the combatants, and then became mediators ; 
and every fray which commenced with a knock-down generally 
ended by shaking hands, and the parties getting dead drunk 
together. 

That brutal species of combat, boxing, was never practised at 
our fairs ; and that savage nest and hotbed of ruffians called the 
" Eing," so shamefully tolerated in England, was unknown 
among the Emeralders * With the shillelah, indeed, they had 
great skill ; but it was only like sword-exercise, and did not 
appear savage. Nobody was disfigured thereby, or rendered fit 
for a doctor. I never saw a bone broken or any dangerous con- 
tusion from what they called " ivhaclcs" of the shillelah (which 
was never too heavy). It was like fencing. A cut on the skull 
they thought no more of than we should of the prick of a needle. 
Of course such accidents frequently occurred, and (I believe very 
well for them) let out a little of their blood ; but did not for a 
single moment interrupt the song, the dance, the frolicking, and 
good humour. 

I have said, that the danger I underwent at Donnybrook 
sank deep into my memory. The main cause of it was not con- 
nected with my rencounter with Counsellor Daly, recited in the 
first volume of the present work, but with one which was to 
the full as hazardous, though it involved none of those points of 
honour or " fire-eating" which forced me to the other conflict. 

In the year 1790 Counsellor John Byrne (afterwards one of 

* I remember one man of tremendous strength from Carlow County (Cor- 
coran by name). He fancied be could knock down any man or beast on earth 
with his fist, and by downright muscular vigour bear down the guards of all 
science or resistance. He went over to England to fight "any man, woman, of 
child," in the whole nation ; and when I was at Temple, made sad examples of 
some of the scientific fancy. He could knock down the ablest horse with one 
blow of his fist. I never saw near so strong a person. — (Author s note.) 



334 baeeington's peesonal sketches 

his Majesty's counsel-at-law), a very worthy man and intimate 
friend of mine, called on me to ride with him and aid him in the 
purchase of a horse at the fair of Donnybrook. I agreed, and 
away we rode, little anticipating the sad discomfiture we should 
experience. "We found the fair rich in all its glories of drinking, 
fighting, kissing, making friends, knocking down ; women drag- 
ging their husbands out of frays, and wounded men joining as 
merrily in the dance as if the clout tied round their heads were 
a Turkish turban ! Whatever happened in the fair, neither 
revenge nor animosity went out of it with any of the parties. 
To be sure, on the road to town, there was always seen plenty 
of pulling, hauling, and dragging about, in which the ladies were 
to the full as busily employed as the gentlemen ; but for which 
the latter offered, next day, one general excuse to their wives, 
who would be mending their torn coats and washing their stock- 
ings and cravats. 

" Sure, Moll, it wasn't myself that was in it when I knocked 
Tom Sweeny down in the tent ; it was the drink, and nothing else." 

" True for you, Pat, my jewel!" would the wife cry (scrub- 
bing away as hard as she could) ; " true for you, my darling. 
By my sowl, the whisky and water was all spirits. Myself would 
as soon strike my owld mother, God forgive me for the word ! 
as have struck Mary Casey, only for that last noggin that put 
the devil into me just when I was aggravated at your head, Pat, 
my jewel. So I hit Mary Casey a wipe ; and by my sowl it's I 
that am sorry for that same, becaize Mary had neither act nor 
part in cutting your head, Pat ; but I was aggravated, and did not 
think of the differ." 

This dialogue, with variations, I have heard a hundred times ; 
and it will serve as a true specimen of the species of quarrels at 
Donnybrook in former times, and their general conclusion ; and 
such were the scenes that the visitors of the fair were making 
full preparation for, when Counsellor John Byrne, myself, and a 
servant lad of mine (not a very good horseman), entered it in the 
year 1790. The boy was mounted on a fiery horse, which Byrne 
wanted to exchange ; and as I never liked anything that was too 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



tame, the horse I rode always had spirit enough, particularly for 
a gentleman who was not very remarkable for sticking ovcrfast 
to those animals. 

Into the fair we went, and, riding up and down, got here a 
curse and there a blessing ; sometimes a fellow, who knew one 
of us, starting out of a tent to offer us a glass of the " cratur." 

"When we had satisfied our reasonable curiosity, and laughed 
plentifully at the grotesque scenes interspersed through every 
part, we went to the horse-fair, on the green outside. There the 
jockeys were in abundance ; and certainly no fair ever exhibited 
a stranger m flange of the halt and blind, the sound and rotten, 
rough and smooth ; all galloping, leaping, kicking, or tumbling, 
some in clusters, some singly ; now and then a lash of the long 
whip, and now and then a crack of the loaded butt of it I At 
length a horse was produced (which we conceived fit for any coun- 
sellor) by Mr. Irvin the jockey, and engaged, upon his honour, to 
be as sound as a roach, and as steady as any beast between Donny- 
brook and Loughrca, where he had been the favourite gelding 
of Father Lynch, the parish priest, who called him " Coadjutor" 
(lie had broken the holy father's neck, by-the-by, about a year 
before). " Do just try him, Counsellor Byrne," said Mr. Irvin ; 
" just mount him a bit ; and if ever you get off him again till 
you grease my fist, I'll forgive you the luck-penny. He'll want 
neither whip nor spur. He'll know your humour, counsellor, 
before you're five minutes on his body, and act accordingly." 

" You're sure he's gentle t" said Byrne. 

" Gentle, is it ? I'll give you leave to skin both himself and 
me if you won't soon like him as well as if he was (begging 
your pardon) your own cousin-german. If he wasn't the thing 
from muzzle to tail that would suit you, I'd hang him before I'd 
give him to a counsellor — the like of yees at any rate." 

A provisional bargain and exchange was soon struck, and 
Byrne mounted for trial on the favourite gelding of the late 
Father Lynch of Loughrea, called "Coadjutor ;" and, in truth, he 
appeared fully to answer all Mr. Irvin's eulogiums. We rode 
through the fair, much amused ; I trotting carelessly close by 



336 



barrington's personal sketches 



the side of Byrne, and our servant on the fiery mare behind us, 
when, on a sudden, a drunken shoemaker, or master cobbler, as he 
called himself, whom my family had employed in heeling, soling, 
etc., seeing me pass by, rushed out of his tent with a bottle of 
whisky in one hand and a glass in the other, and roared, " Ough ! 
by dad, Barnton, you go no further till you take a drop with 
me, like your father's son, that I've been these many a long 
year tapping and foxing for ; here, my darling, open your gob ! " 

Byrne being nearest, the cobbler stepped under the neck of 
my friend's horse, and his sconce getting entangled in the loose 
reins, the horse (not understanding that species of interruption) 
began to caper, which, at the same time, rather shaking Coun- 
sellor Byrne in his seat, and further entangling the shoemaker's 
head, I leant across to get Byrne's rein fair ; but being unable 
to do so, from the fury of the son of Crispin, who was hitting 
Bucephalus on the skull as hard as he could with the bottle, to 
make him stand easy and to get his own head clear, my leg got 
entangled in the reins ; and Byrne's gentle gelding making one 
or two simultaneous leaps forward and kicks behind, I had the 
horror of seeing my poor friend fly far over his horse's head, 
alight rather heavily upon his own, and having done so, lie quite 
flat and still, seeming to take no further notice either of the fair, 
the horses, myself, or any earthly matter whatsoever. 

My steed now began to follow so bright a precedent ; the 
cobbler, meanwhile, still cracking away with his bottle at both 
beasts. My seat of course became less firm, and at length I 
yielded to imperative circumstances, and being detached from 
my saddle (and also, fortunately, from the stirrups), I came 
easily down, but not clear of either horse ; for I reluctantly fell 
just between the two, one of my legs being fast in Byrne's bridle 
and the other in my own. Both animals were prepared to set 
off with the utmost expedition ; but, I believe, without the least 
idea as to whither they were going. The cobbler fought hard to 
get his head loose, but in vain ; so with me he must come, go 
wherever I might. The two geldings now wheeled us off, 
plunging, kicking, and giving me to understand (so far as I 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



337 



could understand anything) that I had little further to do than 
commend my soul to heaven, which, to tell truth, I had neither 
leisure nor presence of mind to attempt. It was lucky that the 
horses' heads were pulled together by the bridles ; by holding 
which, I defeated the attempt of " Coadjutor " to kick me to 
pieces — a compliment that, with might and main, he strove to 
pay me ; and while dragged on my back through a short space 
of the fair of Donnybrook in company with the shoemaker (who 
was obliged to run obliquely or be strangled by the bridles), I 
had the additional pleasure of feeling the wind of " Coadjutor's " 
heels every second dashing about my head, and also of looking 
up at the bellies of both steed's ; for I could see nothing else, 
except the cobbler, who roared in a voice that brought every 
man, woman, and child out of the tents. Some men, at the risk 
of their own lives, closed on " the mad horses," and with their 
knives cut the bridles of both, and then away went the two 
geldings, quite disencumbered, as hard as their legs could carry 
them, upsetting, tables, forms, pots of hot water, and in fact 
everything that came in their way, till they reached the spot 
where Mr. Irvin stood, and sundry members of their own species 
where disporting under their master. AVhen they were caught, 
and the death of the two counsellors announced by the Dublin 
horse-jockeys, who were jealous of Mr. Irvin, news was instantly 
sent to town that Galway Irvin, a horse-jockey, had sold a 
vicious animal to Counsellor Byrne, which had killed both him 
and Counsellor Barrington on the green of Donnybrook. 

The mare my servant rode, though she did not know what 
all this row was about, thought proper to emulate so good an 
example. But being fonder of galloping than rearing, she fairly 
ran away ; and the lad being unable to hold her in, they upset 
everything in their course, till having come in contact with the 
cord of a tent, and being entangled therein, down went horse 
and rider plump against the wattles, which (together with the 
quilts) yielding to their pressure, Byrne's mare and my groom 
instantly made an unexpected portion of the company inside. 

My readers must picture to themselves a runaway horse and 

VOL. II. z 



338 



bakkington's personal sketches 



his rider tumbling head foremost into a tent among from ten to 
twenty Irishmen, who had got the drink in them. Many were 
the bruises and slight scarifications of the company before they 
could get clear of what they thought nothing but the devil or a 
whirlwind could possibly have sent thus, without the least 
notice, to destroy them. In fact, Byrne had, a few months after, 
a considerable sum to advance to satisfy all parties for broken 
ware, etc. ; but the poor fellows would charge nothing for broken 
heads or damaged carcases. 

The shoemaker, who had certainly stood a narrow risk of 
being choked, was the first to tell everybody his sad adventure ; 
and to the end of my days, I never shall forget the figure he 
cut. His waistcoat was quite torn off his back while on the 
ground ; he lost both shoes, and the lower part of his shirt 
acting as locum tenens for the back of his small-clothes, which 
had likewise been rent aside, nothing (with the conjunction of 
this horrified countenance) ever presented a more ludicrous ap- 
pearance. He continued to roar " Murder ! murder ! " much in 
the yelping tone of a poor dog run over by a carriage, or of a 
little cur, when, having got a shrewd bite from a big one, he is 
galloping off with his tail between his legs, to claim the pro- 
tection of his mistress. On being disengaged, the son of Crispin 
limped off to the next tent, where (everybody flocking round him) 
he held up the bottle, of which he loudly swore he had never 
quitted his gripe. " "Not" he said, " for the lucre of a glass 
bottle — the bottle be d — 'd ! but for the sake of the cratur that 
was in it, though that was all spilt." 

As for myself, I really know not how I escaped so well ; my 
hat stuck fast, which saved my head ; I held as tightly as I 
could by both reins ; and in the short distance we were dragged, 
received very few hard bumps upon the ground, which, fortu- 
nately for all parties, was grassy, and had neither stones nor 
gravel. My coat was torn, my hands a little cut by the reins, 
and my ankle by the stirrup, as my foot got disentangled there- 
from ; but I received no injury of any consequence. 

The most melancholy part of the story relates to my friend 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



339 



Byrne, who (though by far the simplest process) was the only 
material sufferer. So soon as I could set myself to rights in the 
next tent, and had taken a large tumbler of hot punch — as they 
said, to drive the fright out of me — I hastened to my companion, 
who, when last I saw him, lay motionless on the ground. I was 
told he had been brought into a tent, and there laid out upon a 
table as if dead ; and had he not exhibited signs of life pretty 
soon, the folks would have proceeded to wake and stretch him, 
and when he was decent, to cover him with a quilt, and carry 
him home next morning on a door to his family. 

On my arrival I found him greatly confused, and quite 
helpless : there was, however, no bone broken, or any wound 
or bruise that I could see. He merely complained of a pain in 
his neck and shoulders, and I considered that the general shoek 
he had received was his only injury. While he lay nearly 
insensible, but had shown signs of life, the women forced burnt 
whisky down liis throat out of a bottle, which certainly revived 
him He was then bled by a farrier, and we got him home in 
a carriage, though in considerable pain. The surgeon employed 
(I don't name him) said nothing was injured ; but in less than 
a week, to the horrible torture of poor Byrne, and the discom- 
fiture of the doctor, it turned out that his right shoulder had 
been dislocated, and the use of his arm entirely destroyed. 
After the lapse of such an interval, of course extreme inflam- 
mation took place, and for many months he could scarcely 
move. 

I fancy horse-jockeying and the fair of Donnyhrooh never 
subsequently escaped Byrne's memory. In fact, the circum- 
stance proved nearly fatal to him several years after. His 
shoulder having remained so long unset, the muscles became 
rigid, and he never had the power of raising his right arm upon 
a level again. This deprivation he felt acutely on his duel with 
the Earl of Kilkenny, who hit him before he could bring up his 
arm to any position. 

I have thus given a true sketch of Donnybrook fair forty 
years ago. I, however, remember it twenty years earlier, as I 



340 



barrington's personal sketches 



used to be taken thither when a child by the maid-servants, 
under pretence of diverting "little master;" and they and 
their sweethearts always crammed me with cakes to a surfeit, 
that I might not tell my grandmother what I saw of them. 

The country fairs of Ireland, though of the same genus, were 
of a different species, and there were great varieties among that 
species, according to the habits, customs, and manners of the 
several provinces, counties, or parishes, wherein they were held. 
The southern, eastern, and western fairs had considerable 
similitude to each other ; but the northern, if I may apply 
exaggerated epithets, could boast more rogues, while at the 
former the preponderance was of madmen. The southerns cer- 
tainly loved fighting vastly better, and after they had done 
were vastly less vindictive than the northern descendants of the 
Caledonians* 

At country fairs the feasting and drinking were still more 
boisterous, what they call obstrojpulous in Ireland ; but being 
generally held in towns, there was less character exhibited, and 
consequently less food for observation to spectators. The fight- 
ing, too, was of a different nature, and far more serious than at 
Donnybrook. I will cite a fair that I seldom missed attending 
for several years, solely in order to see the fight which was 
sure to conclude it. It was called the fair of Dysart, held in a 

* I do not think that the southern and western Irish have, or ever will have, 
any ardent brotherly affection for their northern fellow-countrymen (exclusive of 
differences in religion). The former descended direct from the aboriginals of the 
land ; the latter are deduced from Scotch colonists, and those not of the very 
best occupations or character either. 

An anecdote told of Sir Hercules Langrishe and Mr. Dundas is illustrative cf 
this observation, and was one of our standing jokes when Ireland existed as a 
nation. 

Mr. Dundas, himself a keen sarcastic man, who loved his bottle nearly as well 
as Sir Hercules, invited the baronet to a grand dinner in London, where the 
wine circulated freely, and wit kept pace with it. Mr. Dundas, wishing to pro- 
cure a laugh at Sir Hercules, said — 

""Why, Sir Hercules, is it true that we Scotch formerly transported all our 
criminals and felons to Ireland?" 

" I dare say," replied Sir Hercules ; " but did you ever hear, Mr. Dundas, of 
any of your countrymen returning to Scotland from transportation?" — {Authors 
note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



341 



beautiful country in the valley below the green Timahoe hills, 
and close to one of tbe most interesting and beautiful of Irish 
ruins, the rock of Donnamase, where, in ancient times, sword- 
duels were fought, as I have heretofore mentioned. Cromwell 
battered it, and slaughtered the warders of the O'Moores, who 
held their hereditary fortress while they had an arm to de- 
fend it. 

To this fair resorted sundry factions, as they were termed, — 
a faction consisting of one of two parishes, baronies, or town- 
lands, that were very good friends in small parties or indi- 
vidually, but had a prescriptive deadly hatred to each other at 
all great meetings, fairs, returns from alehouses, etc. At races 
or hurliugs, where gentlemen presided, no symptoms of animo- 
sity were apparent. 

But a tacit compact was always understood to exist that the 
factions should fight at the fair of Dysart once a-year ; and, 
accordingly, none of them ever failed to attend the field of 
battle with their wives, and generally a reasonable number of 
infant children, whose cries and shrieks during their daddies' 
conflict formed a substitute for martial music, mingled, indeed, 
with the incessant rattle of the ladies' tongues, as they fought 
and struggled, like the Sabine women, to separate combatants, 
who would come on purpose to fight again. 

The fair went on quietly enough at first as to buying, sell- 
ing, and trucking of cows, pigs, frieze, and other merchandise ; 
but when trade grew slack, the whisky got in vigour, and the 
time^ came when the same little " whacking, plase your honour, 
that our fathers before us always did at Dysart," could no 
longer be deferred. There being, however, no personal or 
ostensible cause of dispute, one or two hoys were always sent 
out to pick a quarrel and give just reason for the respective 
factions to come to the rescue. 

Their weapon was almost exclusively an oaken cudgel — 
neither iron, steel, nor indeed any deadlier substance, so far as I 
ever saw, was in use among them ; and " boxing-matches," as 
before observed, were considered altogether too gross and vulgar 



342 



barrington's personal sketches 



for the direct descendants of Irish princes, as in fact many of 
them were. The friends and neighbours of the pugnacious 
factions, always in bodies, joined more or less warmly in 
the fray. In truth, it would be totally impossible to keep an 
Irish peasant, man or woman, if the drop was in, from joining 
in any battle going merrily on. Before the fray had ended, 
therefore, the entire assemblage was engaged in some degree ; 
and it was commonly a drawn battle, seldom concluding till all 
parties and each sex, fairly out of breath, were unable to fight 
any more. Two hours, or thereabouts, was considered as a decent 
period for a beating-match, and some priest generally put an end 
to it when the factions were themselves tired. 

These battles commenced in the most extraordinary manner, 
the different modes of picking a quarrel being truly comical. 
One fellow generally took off his long frieze coat, and flourishing 
his shillelah, which he trailed along the ground, vociferated — 
" Horns ! horns ! ram's horns ! — who dares say any thing's 
crookeder than ram's horns?" 

" By J — s, I know fat will be twice crookeder nor any ram's 
horns before the fair's over," another sturdy fellow would reply, 
leaping, as he spoke, out of a tent, armed with his " walloper" 
(as they called their cudgel), and spitting in his fist — " By J — s, 
I'll make your own skull crookeder nor any ram's horn in the 
barony." The Mow of course followed the word ; the querist 
was laid sprawling on the ground — out rushed the factions from 
every tent, and to work they fell, knocking down right and left, 
tumbling head over heels, then breaking into small parties, and 
fighting through and round the tents. If one fellow lost his 
" walloper," and was pressed by numbers, he sometimes tugged 
at a wattle till he detached it from a tent, and sweeping it all 
around him, prostrated men, women, and children — one, tumb- 
ling, tripped up another, and I have seen them lying in hillocks, 
yet scarcely anybody in the least injured. Sometimes one faction 
had clearly the best of it ; then they ran away in their turn, for 
there was no determined stand made by any party — so that 
their alternate advancing, retreating, running away, and rallying, 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



3-43 



were productive of huge diversion. Whoever got his head cut 
(and that was generally the case with more than half of them), 
•ran into some tent, where the women tied up the hurt, gave the 
sufferer a glass of whisk}', and kept him fair and easy till news 
arrived that the priest was come, when the combatants soon 
grew more quiet. The priest then told them how sinful they 
were. They thanked his reverence, and said, "they'd stop, becaize 
he desired them ; but it wasn't becaize they wouldn't like to 
make sartain who'd have the best of it." 

The hair being detached from about the cuts on the head, 
the cuts themselves dressed, rags applied to battered shins, etc., 
the whisky went round merrily again, and the several factions 
seldom departed till they were totally unable to fight any more. 
Some were escorted home by the priests upon garrons ;* some on 
straw in cars, and some, too drunk to be moved, remained in 
the neighbourhood. Xo animosity was cherished, and until 
next fair they would do each other any kind office. I witnessed 
many of these actions, and never heard that any man was " dan- 
gerously wounded." But if they fought on the road home, in 
very small parties, serious mischief was not imfrequently the 
consequence. 

The que re as to ram's horns was only one of many curious 
schemes whereby to get up a quarrel. I have seen a fellow 
going about a fair dragging his coat, which was always con- 
sidered a challenge, like throwing down a glove or gauntlet in 
olden times — and in fact was a relict of that practice. Another 
favourite mode was exclaiming, "Black's the white of my eye ! — 
who dares say black is not the white of my eye ?" 

These scenes certainly took place at a time when Ireland 
was reputed, and with truth, to be in a very rough state. It 
has since undergone plenty of civilisation. Sunday schools, 
improved magistracy, and a regular police, have recently been 
introduced ; and the present state of Ireland proves the great 
advances it has made in consequence. Of late years, there- 
fore, though the factions still fight as usual, it is with more 

* Old hack-horses ; or rather a bad breed. 



344 



barrington's personal sketches 



civilised weapons. Instead of shillelahs and "wallopers," 
swords, pistols, and guns are the genteel implements resorted 
to ; and (to match the agriculturists) scythes, hatchets, bill- 
hooks, and pitchforks, are used in their little encounters ; and 
surely the increased refinement of the country is not to be 
relinquished on account of the loss of a few lives. 

I fear some of my readers may call the latter observations 
ironical ; but the best way for them to avoid that supposition is 
to reflect what savage Ireland was at the time I allude to, and 
what civilised Ireland is at the moment I am writing. In the 
year 1780, when the peasantry fighting at the fair of Dysart 
was in a savage state, the government were so stingy of their 
army that they would only spare the Irish five or six thousand 
soldiers, and no militia, to teach them to behave themselves ; 
but, after an interval of forty years, they are now so kind as to 
allow us five-and-thirty thousand troops to teach the new 
rudiments of civilisation, the old six thousand having had 
nothing to do amongst these semi-barbarous islanders. Nay, 
the government, finding that Ballinrobe (where, as I have stated, 
a sow and her ten piggin riggins came to breakfast with two 
counsellors) was making slow progress to this desirable state of 
refinement, was so considerate as to send certainly the best- 
bred regiment in the king's service to give lessons of urbanity 
to the people for three hundred and sixty-five days without 
intermission. 

This boon to so backward a population as County Mayo pre- 
sented, must ever be remembered with gratitude by the undressed 
gentlemen of that county, though I have not seen any authentic 
expose of those beneficial effects which no doubt resulted. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



345 



THE WALKING GALLOWS. 

Never was there an era in the history of an)" country which, in 
so short a space of time, gave birth to such numerous and varied 
circumstances as did the memorable year 1798 in Ireland ; nor 
was there ever yet an event so important as the Irish insurrec- 
tion, but has afforded a veracious, or, at least, a tolerably im- 
partial narrative. But the party rancour and virulent hatred of 
the religious sects in the south, the centre, and west of Ireland 
(where the rebellion principally raged), operated to prevent any 
fair record of those scenes of bloodshed and atrocity which, on 
both sides, outraged every principle of morality and justice, and 
every feeling of consanguinity, honour, or humanity. The very 
worst qualities were fostered to full maturity, and the better 
ones turned adrift like discarded servants. Blood, fire, and 
famine, were the only umpires resorted to by the contending 
parties. 

Those barbarities were nearly, if not altogether, unexampled 
either in ancient or modern Europe ; but it is now thirty years 
since their termination ; the surviving contemporaries are old 
enough to have their blood cooled and their prejudices mode- 
rated ; and they should have grown sufficiently dispassionate to 
speak of those scenes (if at all) with honesty and candour. 

I was myself in the midst of the tumult ; a zealous loyalist ; 
an officer in the corps of barristers ; an active partisan ; in a 
word, a strong adherent of government — but not a blind one. I 
could not shut my eyes ; I could not close my ears ; I would 
not pervert my reason ; and the full use of those faculties at 
that time enables me now to state as an historic fact — which 
some will deny, and many may discredit — that the barbarities of 
that period (though not precisely) were pretty nearly balanced 



346 



barrington's personal sketches 



between the conflicting parties. Mercy was alike banished by 
both ; and the instruments employed of death and torture, 
though dissimilar, were alike destructive ; the bullet, sabre, 
bayonet, lash, and halter, being met by the pike, the scythe, the 
blunderbuss, the hatchet, and the firebrand. 

Yet while human blood was pouring out in streams, and 
human beings consuming in fire, or writhing either upon rebel 
pikes or royal bayonets — will it be believed ? — men had grown 
so familiarised to scenes of horror, that the eccentric humour of 
the Irish people was insusceptible of decrease. In the midst of 
tortures, either suffered or inflicted, it frequently broke out into 
the most ludicrous actions and expressions, proving to me that 
an Irishman's humour is so drilled into his nature as to be inex- 
haustible even to the moment of his death (if that is not un- 
usually too deliberate).* 

It is not in the nature, or within the comprehension, of the 
sober English people to form any judgment of what a true-born 
Irishman is capable of saying or doing in his deepest extremi- 
ties : and I am sure they will give me little credit for veracity 
when I mention some instances which, I own, in any other 
country might be reasonably considered incredible. In no other 
place existing could the cruel and ludicrous be so mingled, as 
they were in the transactions of the sanguinary period in ques- 
tion ; nor do I think there can be a better way to inform and 

* O'Connor, a fat, comely, cheerful-looking schoolmaster of County Kildare, 
was the first rebel executed for high treason. His trial gave rise to one of the 
most curious dialogues (between him and Judge Finucane) that ever took place in 
a court of justice. It ended, however, by the judge (who was a humane man) 
passing the usual sentence on him — " That he should be hanged by the neck, but 
not till he was dead ; that while still alive his bowels should be taken out, his 
body quartered," etc. etc. The culprit bore all this with firm though mild com- 
placency ; and on conclusion of the sentence bowed low, blessed the judge for his 
impartiality, and turning about, said, ' ' God's will be done ! 'tis well it's no 
worse/" I was surprised. I pitied the poor fellow, who had committed no 
atrocity, and asked him what he meant. " Why, Counsellor," said he, "I was 
afraid his lordship would order me to be flogged/" Every rebel preferred death 
to the cat-o'-nine-tails ! O'Connor's head remained some years on the top of 
Naas gaol. — (Author s note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



347 



amuse the reader, than by giving alternate anecdotes of the 
royalists and the rebels, leaving it to his own judgment to draw 
conclusions. This one observation, however, it is necessary, in 
justice, to premise, — that the royalists were, generally speaking, 
of a higher class than the rebels, and had received the advan- 
tages of education, while the rebels were in a state of total 
ignorance and beggary. The wanton barbarities, therefore, of 
the more enlightened classes have less ground of palliation than 
those of a demi-savage peasantry, urged by fanaticism, and 
blinded by ignorance. This observation was strongly impressed 
on my mind throughout the whole of that contest, and it would 
be acting unfairly toward the officer who so judiciously com- 
manded the military corps I was then attached to, not to say 
that, though an unqualified Protestant — an hereditary Hugue- 
not, filled with that spirit of sectionary zeal which drove his 
eloquent ancestor from his native country ; yet, during the 
whole of the rebellion, Captain Saurin never suffered the corps 
he led to indulge any religious distinctions ; — scarcely, indeed, 
could his own sect be discovered by any particular of his acts, 
orders, or conduct ; nor did that corps ever participate in, or 
even countenance, the violent proceedings so liberally practised 
by other military yeomen* 

This line of conduct was most exemplary ; and from a 
thorough knowledge of the constitutional attributes of the man, 
I am convinced that neither his philanthropy, toleration, humi- 
lity, or other good qualities have been much increased by his 
schooling, for the last twenty years, in the Irish Four Courts. 

Among the extraordinary characters that turned up in the 

* I knew at least but of one exception to this remark respecting the lawyers' 
corps. Very early in the rebellion an officer took down a detachment of that 
corps to Eathcool, about seven miles from Dublin, without the knowledge of the 
commandant. They were not aware of his object, which turned out to be, to set 
fire to part of the town. He captured one gentleman, Lieutenant Byrne, who 
was hanged ; and returned to Dublin, in my mind not triumphant. 

He got several severe lectures, but none so strong as one from the late Sir 
John Parnell, then chancellor of the exchequer, whose heir, the present Sir Henry 
Parnell, was among those unwittingly taken down. — (Author's note.) 



348 



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fatal " ninety-eight " there were few more extraordinary than 

Lieutenant H , then denominated the " walking gallows ; " — 

and such he certainly was, literally and practically * 

Lieutenant H was an officer of the line, on half pay. 

His brother was one of the solicitors to the crown — a quiet, 
tremulous, vino deditus sort of man, and a leading Orangeman ; 
his widow, who afterwards married and survived a learned 
doctor, was a clever, positive, good-looking Englishwoman, and, 
I think, fixed the doctor's avowed creed ; as to his genuine faith, 
that was of little consequence. 

Lieutenant H was about six feet two inches high — 

strong, and broad in proportion. His strength was great, but of 
the dead kind, unaccompanied by activity. He could lift a ton, 
but could not leap a rivulet ; he looked mild, and his address 
was civil — neither assuming nor at all ferocious. I knew him 
well, and from his countenance should never have suspected him 
of cruelty ; but so cold-blooded and so eccentric an executioner 
of the human race I believe never yet existed, save among the 
American Indians.") - 

His inducement to the strange barbarity he practised I can 
scarcely conceive, unless it proceeded from that natural taint of 
cruelty which so often distinguishes man above all other animals 
when his power becomes uncontrolled. The propensity was 
probably strengthened in him from the indemnities of martial 
law, and by those visions of promotion whereby violent partisans 
are perpetually urged, and so frequently disappointed.^ 

* This circumstance is mentioned in my Historic Anecdotes of the Union, 
among several others, which were written before the present work was in contem- 
plation. But the incident now before the reader is so remarkable that I have 
gone into it more particularly. Many will peruse this book who will never see 
the other, into which have been interwoven, in fact, numerous sketches of those 
days that I now regret I did not retain for the present work, to which they would 
have been quite appropriate. — (Authors note.) 

f His mode of execution being perfectly novel, and at the same time ingenious, 
Curran said, "The lieutenant should have got a patent for cheap strangulation." 
— (Author s note.) 

X "We love the treason, but hate the traitor," is an aphorism which those 
who assume prominent parts in any public convulsion are sure to find verified. 
Many instances took place in Ireland ; and in France exemplifications occurred 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



349 



At the period alluded to, law being suspended, and the 
courts of justice closed, the " question " by torture was revived 
and largely practised. The commercial exchange of Dublin 
formed a place of execution ; even suspected rebels were every 
day immolated as if convicted on the clearest evidence ; and 

Lieutenant H 's pastime of hanging on his own hack persons 

whose physiognomies he thought characteristic of rebellion was, 
(I am ashamed to say) the subject of jocularity instead of punish- 
ment. What in other times he would himself have died for, 
as a murderer, was laughed at as the manifestation of loyalty : 
never yet was martial law so abused, or its enormities so hushed 
up,* as in Ireland. Being a military officer, the lieutenant con- 
ceived he had a right to do just what he thought proper, and to 
make the most of his time while martial law was flourishing. 

Once, when high in blood, he happened to meet a suspicious- 
looking peasant from County Kildare, who could not satisfactorily 
account for himself according to the lieutenant's notion of 
evidence ; and having nobody at hand to vouch for him, the 
lieutenant of course immediately took for granted that he must 
be a rebel strolling about, and imagining the death of Ids Most 
Gracious Majesty."}* He therefore, no other court ofjusticeheing 
at hand, considered that he had a right to try the man by his 

to a very considerable extent. A blind zealot is of all men most likely to become 
a renegade if he feel it more convenient : prejudice and interest unite to form 
furious partisans, who are never guided by principle — for principle is founded on 
judgment. 

* The open indemnification of Mr. Judkin Fitzgerald of Tipperary, for his 
cruelties in that county, was one of the worst acts of a vicious government. The 
prime serjeant, Mr. St. George Daly, though then the first law officer, (a Union 
one, too, as subsequently appeared), voted against that most flagitious act of 
parliament, which nothing but the raging madness of those times could have car- 
ried through any assembly. The dread of its recurrence did much to effect the 
Union. — (Author's note.) 

+ The lieutenant's brother being a Crown solicitor, had now and then got the 
lieutenant to copy the high treason indictments ; and he seeing there that 
imagining the death of a king was punished capitally, very naturally conceived 
that icishing it was twice as bad as supposing it. Having, therefore, no doubt 
that all rebels wished it, he consequently decided in the tribunal of his own mind 
to hang even- man who hypothetically and traitorously wished his Majesty's dis- 



350 



barrington's personal sketches 



own opinion; accordingly, after a brief interrogation, lie con- 
demned him to die, and without further ceremony proceeded to 
put his own sentence into immediate execution. 

However, to do the lieutenant justice, his mode was not near 
so tedious or painful as that practised by the Grand Signior, who 
sometimes causes the ceremony to be divided into three acts, 
giving the culprit a drink of spring water to refresh him between 
the two first, nor was it so severe as the burning old women 
formerly for witchcraft. In fact, the " walking gallows " was 
both on a new and simple plan ; and after some kicking and 
plunging during the operation, never failed to be completely 
effectual The lieutenant being, as before mentioned, of lofty 
stature, with broad and strong shoulders, saw no reason why 
they might not answer his Majesty's service upon a pinch as well 
as two posts and a cross-bar, the more legitimate instrument 
upon such occasions ; and he also considered that when a rope 
was not at hand, there was no good reason why his own silk 
cravat, being softer than an ordinary halter, and of course less 
calculated to hurt a man, should not be a more merciful choke- 
band than that employed by any Jack Ketch in the three 
kingdoms. 

In pursuance of these benevolent intentions, the lieutenant, 
as a preliminary step, first knocked down the suspected rebel 
from County Kildare, which the weight of mettle in his fist 
rendered no difficult achievement. His garters then did duty 
as handcuffs ; and with the aid of a brawny aide-de-camp (one 
such always attended him), he pinioned his victim hand and 
foot, and then most considerately advised him to pray for King 
George, observing that any prayers for his own d — d popish soul 
would be only time lost, as his fate in every world (should there 

solution, which wish, he also conceived, was very easily ascertained by the wisher's 
countenance. 

A cabinet-maker at Charing Cross some years ago put on his board ' ' patent 
coffin-maker to his Majesty." It was considered that though this was not an ill- 
intentioned, yet it was a very improper mode of imagining the king's death, and 

the board was taken down accordingly. Lieutenant H would surely have 

hanged him in Ireland. — {Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



351 



be even a thousand) was decided to all eternity for having 
imagined the death of so good a monarch. 

During this exhortation the lieutenant twisted up his long 
cravat so as to make a firm, handsome rope, and then expertly 
sliding it over the rebel's neck, secured it there by a double 
knot, drew the cravat over his own shoulders, and the aide-de- 
camp holding up the rebel's heels till he felt him pretty easy, the 
lieutenant with a powerful chuck drew up the poor devil's head 
as high as his own (cheek by jowl), and began to trot about with 
his burden like a jolting cart-horse — the rebel choking and 
gulping meanwhile, until he had no further solicitude about 
sublunary affairs, when the lieutenant, giving him a parting 
chuck, just to make sure that his neck was broken, threw down 
his load, the personal assets about which the aide-de-camp made 
a present of to himself. 

Now all this proceeding was very pains-taking and ingenious ; 
and yet the ungrateful government (as Secretary Cook assured 
me) woidd have been better pleased had the execution taken 
place on timber, and with hemp, according to old formalities. 

To be serious — this story is scarcely credible, yet it is a 
notorious fact ; and the lieutenant, a few nights afterward, 
acquired the sobriquet which forms a head to this sketch, and 
with which he was invested by the upper gallery of Crow Street 
Theatre, nor did he ever get rid of it to his dying day. 

The above trotting execution (which was humorously related 
to me by an eye-witness) took place in the barrack-yard at Kerry 
House, Stephen's Green The hanyee was, I believe (as it hap- 
pened), in reality a rebeL 

Providence, however, which is said to do " everything for 
the best " (though some persons who are half starving, and 
others who think themselves very unfortunate, will not allow it 

so much credit), determined that Lieutenant H 's loyalty 

and merits should meet their full reward in another sphere, 
where, being quite out of the reach of all Ins enemies, he might 
enjoy his destiny without envy or interruption. It therefore, 
very soon after the rebellion had terminated, took the lieutenant 



352 



bakrington's peesonal sketches 



into its own especial keeping, and despatched a raging fever to 
bring him off to the other world, which commission the said fever 
duly executed after twenty-one days' combustion ; and no doubt 
his ghost is treated according to its deserts ; but nobody having 
since returned from those regions to inform us what has actually 
become of the lieutenant, it is still a dead secret, and I fancy 
very few persons in Ireland have any wish for the opportunity 
of satisfying their curiosity. People, however, give a shrewd 
guess that it is possible he may be employed somewhere else in 
the very same way wherein he entertained himself in Ireland, 
and that after being duly furnished with a tail, horns, and 
cloven foot, no spirit could do infernal business better than the 
lieutenant. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



353 



CONVERSION AND INVERSION. 

We have, in the foregoing sketch, seen something of the unwar- 
rantable acts whereof loyal zeal was capable. Let us now take 
a glance, in fairness and impartiality, at the conduct of the 
insurgents, which varied exceedingly in different instances. 
Sometimes, almost as the humour of the moment guided them, 
they would treat such as fell in their power with lenity and 
moderation ; at others, no degree of cruelty was spared toward 
those unfortunate individuals. 

They had at their mercy during the whole period a man of 
high rank, their avowed, zealous, and active enemy, a Protestant 
and Orangeman. Yet, while numerous persons of inferior 
classes were piked and butchered, the Earl of Kingston was 
unmolested, and left at liberty on their evacuation of Wexford. 
It were to be wished that General Lake* had shown similar 
generosity to Mr. Cornelius Grogan, whose hasty and un- 
merited execution by martial law savoured of deliberate murder 
as strongly as the death of most who were slaughtered by the 
rebels. 

On many occasions during that dreadful struggle jests 
were so strangely mixed up with murder, that it was not easy 
to guess which way a scene would terminate — whether in 
tragedy or comedy — so much depended on the sobriety or intoxi- 
cation of the insurgents. 

One or two anecdotes (out of hundreds worth recording) 
will serve to show in some degree the spirit of the times ; and 
we will preface them by observing that the district, barony 
of Forth, in County "Wexford, most active in rebellion, most 

* Lake was throughout these troublesome times an unfeeling commander. 
VOL. II. 2 A 



354 



barrington's personal sketches 



zealous and most sanguinary, was the identical point whereon 
Strongbow, the first British soldier who set foot in Ireland, 
had, six hundred and twenty-seven years before, begun his 
colonisation. Most of the Wexford rebels, indeed, were lineal 
descendants of the original Britons who came over there 
from South "Wales and Bristol, and repeopled that district 
after their countrymen had nearly exterminated the aboriginal 
natives. 

The rebels had obliged Major Maxwell with the king's 
troops far too precipitately to evacuate Wexford ; and that 
officer, by the rapidity of his movements, gave neither time nor 
notice to the loyalists to retreat with him. It was therefore 
considered that Archdeacon Elgee, a dignitary of the Protestant 
church, was the most likely subject for the rebels to begin their 
slaughter with ; and the general opinion ran that he would have 
at least a dozen pikes through his body before dinner-time on 
the day the insurgents entered. 

Of this way of thinking was the divine himself ; nor did the 
numerous corresponding surmises prove erroneous. Sentence of 
death was promptly passed upon the archdeacon, who was held 
to aggravate his offences by contumacy. 

A certain shrewd fellow, yclept a captain among the rebels, 
however, saw things in a different point of view ; and though 
without any particularly kind feelings toward the archdeacon, he, 
by use of a very luminous argument, changed the determination 
of his comrades. 

" What's the good," said he, " of piking the old man ? Sure, 
if he'll give in, and worship the Virgin in our chapel, won't it 
be a better job ? They say he's a very good Orange parson, and 
why shouldn't he make a good green priest if he'll take on with 
Father Cahil ? Devil the much harm ever he did us ! So, if 
yees agree to that same, I'll tell him, fair and easy, to take on 
with the Virgin to-morrow in the big chapel, or he'll find himself 
more holy than godly before the sun sets." 

The concluding joke, however trite, put them all in good 
humour, and the orator proceeded — " Come a couple of dozen of 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



355 



ye, boys, with wattles on your shoulders. Give me the colours 
and cross, and we'll go to Parson Elgee."* 

In fact they went to the archdeacon, and Mr. Murphy, the 
spokesman, told him very quietly and civilly that he came to 
" offer his reverence life and liberty, and a good parish too, if 
he would only do tJic thing cleverly in the way Father Cahill 
would show him" 

The reverend doctor, not comprehending the nature of the 
condition, and conceiving that they probably only required him 
to stand neuter, replied, in a quivering voice, "that he would 
never forget the obligations. He was well content with the 
cure he had, but not the less indebted to them for their kind 
offer to give him a better." 

"Ough!" said Captain Murphy, " your reverence happens 
to be all in the wrong." 

The archdeacon of course fell into his nervous fit again, and 
stood quaking as if both Saint Vitus' dance and the tic douloureux 
had assailed him at once with their utmost rancour. 

"I am only come," resumed Murphy, "just to give your 
reverence two little clwicesr 

" Oh, Lord ! Captain Murphy, what are they ?" cried the 
clerical gentleman. 

" Either to take your turn to-morrow in the big chapel with 
our clergy, and be one of them yourself, or to receive two-and- 
twenty pikes straight through your reverence's carcass, as you 
will otherwise do before the sun sets this blessed day ; and by 
my sowl it's not far from that time now! (Here the doctor 
groaned most heavily.) One of the things," pursued the rebel, " is 
quite easy for your reverence to do, and the other is quite easy 
for us to do ; and so there will be no great trouble in it either way. 
Come on, lads, and just show your switclies to his reverence." 

Above twenty long pikes were instantly flourished in the air 
with a hurrah that nearly shook every nerve of the archdeacon 
out of its natural situation. 

* The grandfather of Lady Wilde, known as Spcranza, and authoress of much 
beautiful poetry ; also the grandfather of Sir Robert M'Clure, the distinguished 
Arctic navigator. 



356 



baeeington's peesonal sketches 



" Ah, gentlemen ! " said he, " spare a poor old man who never 
harmed any of yon. For the love of God, spare me !" 

"Arrah! be easy, parson," said Captain Mnrphy ; "sure 
there's bnt one God between ns all, and that's plenty, if there 
were as many more of ns. So what are we differing and 
bothering abont ? Whether yon say yonr prayers in the church 
or in the chapel, in Latin or in English; whether yon reckon 
them on yonr beads, or read them on yonr book — snre, it's all 
one to him, and no great differ, I shonld think, to any sensible 
gentleman, especially when he cannot help himself ! Boys, 
handle yonr switches, thongh, by my sowl, I'd be sorry to skiver 
yonr reverence." 

The archdeacon, thongh an excellent orthodox parson, now 
began to see his way, and was too wise to have anything to do 
with Captain Mnrphy's switches if it were avoidable. He recol- 
lected that the great bishops and archbishops who were roasted 
alive in Qneen Mary's time, for the very same reason, got bnt 
little credit from posterity for their martyrdom ; and how conld 
he expect any for being piked, which was not half so dilatory a 
death as roasting ? Then, again, he considered that twenty 
pikes in a man's body would not be near as nourishing as one 
barnacle or lobster (on which he had, for many years, loved to 
feed). He deemed it better to make a merit of necessity ; and 
accordingly, putting on a civil face, agreed to all their proposals. 
He then took a drink of holy water (which Captain Mnrphy 
always carried in a bottle about with him), made several crosses 
npon his forehead with a feather dipped in some " blessed oil " 
(tinged with green), and after every pikeman had shaken him by 
the fist, and called him Father Pat Elgee, it was finally settled he 
should next day be re-christened in " the big chapel " by all the 
Fathers, taught to celebrate mass as well as the best of them, 
and get a protection for having taken on as a true Catholic. 

The gentlemen with their switches now retired, uplifting 
shouts of exultation at having converted the archdeacon, while 
that dignitary tottered back to his family, who had given him 
up for lost, were bewailing his cruel martyrdom, and triumphed 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



357 



at his return, though at the expense of his orthodoxy. A cold 
roast leg of mutton was then produced ; and, heartily discussing 
that creature comfort, his reverence could not avoid congratulat- 
ing himself when he observed the mark of the spit, and reflected 
that there would have been two-and-twenty much wider perfora- 
tions drilled through his own body had not Captain Murphy 
made a papist of him. 

Xext morning Father El gee was duly christened Patrick; 
renounced Martin Luther, in the great chapel of Wexford, as an 
egregious impostor ; and, being appointed a coadjutor, celebrated 
mass with considerable dexterity and proper gesticulation. He 
subsequently set about getting the double manual by heart, that 
he might be ready to chaunt, as soon as Father Cahill should 
teach him the several tunes. 

The archdeacon, though he had no great reason to be 
ashamed of his second christening (particularly as he had always 
prayed against sudden death while he was a Protestant), could 
yet never bear, in after times, to hear the circumstance alluded 
to, since it could not be mentioned but a laugh was unavoidable. 
I often saw Murphy afterward ; he had been generally humane, 
sav^l many lives, and was not prosecuted. He himself told me 
the foregoing story, with that exquisite simplicity which belongs 
almost exclusively to his rank of Irishmen. 

Another Protestant clergvman did not fare quite so well as 
the archdeacon, being never able to look any man straight in the 
face afterward. Parson Owen, brother to Miss Owen of Dublin 
(heretofore mentioned in the anecdotes of Doctor Achmet Borain- 
borad), had a small living in the neighbourhood of AVexford, and 
as he looked for church preferment, was, of course, a violent, in- 
deed an outrageous royalist. Xow. as almost every man among 
his parishioners held a different creed, both in religion and poli- 
tics, he was not over-popular in quiet days ; and, when the bustle 
began, thinking it high time to secure his precious person, he 
retired, for better security, into the town of Wexford. He had 
not. however, considted an oracle ; — that being the first place 
attacked by the rebels : and Major Maxwell, as has been stated, 



358 



baerington's personal sketches 



having with his garrison retreated without beat of drum, the 
parson found himself necessitated to resort to a cockloft in a 
grocer's house in the Bull-ring at Wexford, where, provisions not 
being quite handy, and an empty stomach good for contempla- 
tion, he had ample opportunity to reflect on the species of death 
he would most likely meet. The promotion of Father Pat Elgee 
had not come to his knowledge. 

Previous to this event the parson had fallen in love with the 
only daughter of Mr. Brown, a rich trader who had formerly 
kept a tan-yard in Enniscorthy ; or rather, his reverence fell in 
love with a great number of government debentures, bearing interest 
at five per cent per annum, which, the young lady informed 
him, would be all her own if she " behaved herself." He had, 
therefore, three cogent reasons for seeking to prolong his life : — 
first, the natural love of it • secondly, the debentures ; and lastly, 
the damsel. 

However, his security was by no means permanent. Early 
one morning, wishing to get a mouthful of fresh air, his reverence 
ventured to peep out of his garret-window into the street, and 
was instantly recognised by one of the wattle-hoys, as the pike- 
men were then called. 

" Hah ! hah ! your reverence is there, sure enough," said the 
man of the wattle. " Ough ! by my sowl, if you budge out of 
that peep-hole till I come back again, we'll make a big bonfire 
of ye and your Orange family altogether. Plase, now, don't let 
me lose sight of your reverence while I run for my commander ; 
it's he'll know what to do with the likes of ye." 

The rebel immediately ran off, but soon returned with the 
same " Captain Murphy," and a whole company of pikemen, 
just to " skiver the parson." Owen was a dapper, saucy, pert- 
looking little fellow ; he had good sharp eyes, an excellent use 
of his tongue, and was considered keen ; and, though a high- 
churchman, he was thought at times to be rather more free and 
easy in his little sensualities than most bishops could reasonably 
have approved of. On this latter account, indeed, it was said 
that Mr. Brown, before mentioned, did not relish him for a son- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



359 



in-law. Ladies, however, are sometimes more charitable in this 
respect ; Miss Brown conceived that whatever his piety might 
amount to, his love, at least, was orthodox ; and, in this belief, 
she privately counselled her swain to affect more holiness before 
her papa : — to be lavish, for instance, in abuse of the powers of 
darkness ; to speak slower, and in a more solemn tone ; to get 
longer skirts made to his coats and waistcoats, let his hair grow 
lank, and say grace with becoming gravity and deliberation — 
not as if he were impatient to rush at the eatables before they 
were properly blessed. " Eating," added the didactic lady, * may 
become a vice if too luxuriously gratified, whereas hunger must 
be a virtue, or the Topes woidd not so strongly recommend 
fasting." 

At this stage of the treaty, and of the castle-building on the 
foundation of a tan-yard, his reverence was unfortunately seized 
in the cockloft by Captain Murphy ; and though the captain was 
a neighbour of his, and a decent sort of cattle-dealer, yet Parson 
Owen gave himself up for lost to an absolute certainty. His 
love was, therefore, quite quenched in horror : his throat swelled 
up as if he had a quinsy, and he anticipated notliing short of 
that which he had prayed against (like Doctor Elgee) every Sun- 
day since he obtained holy orders — namely, a sudden death. 
He thought repentance was, as the French say, mcillcur tard 
que jamais, and accordingly began to repent and implore as hard 
as possible, — though without the most remote idea that his sup- 
plications would have time to reach heaven before ho himself 
was turned loose on the road thither. 

Captain Murphy, who, as we have seen, was, although coarse, 
a good-tempered fellow, on entering the room with half-a-dozen 
wattle-boys, otherwise executioners, very civilly told Parson 
Owen, " he would be obliged to him just to prepare himself for 
the other world : whether the other world was a better place or 
a icorse, he would not attempt to chvine ; — all he could assitre 
Ins reverence was, that he should not be very long going there. 
— The boys below," continued Captain Murphy, " having a good 
many more to send along with you to-day, your reverence will 



360 



barrington's personal sketches 



be so good as to come down to the first floor as soon as con- 
venient, that you may drop more agreeably from thence ont of 
the window on the pikes ! " 

Without much ceremony, the poor parson was handed down 
one flight of stairs, when Captain Murphy opening a window as 
wide as he could, begged Owen would be hind enough to take 
off his coat and waistcoat, and throw them to the boys below ; 
the remainder of his dress they might take from the corpse, 
after his reverence had stiffened I 

The parson was nearly petrified ; but there was no appeal. 
The captain's attendants civilly helped him to remove his upper 
garments, for which he had the pleasure of seeing an amusing 
scramble under the window, accompanied by a hundred jokes 
upon the little parson's surtout, which not being large enough 
for any middle-sized rebel, the smallest fellow among them ap- 
propriated it, and strutted about therein, amidst the horse- 
laughter of his companions. 

Captain Murphy now ordered his wattlers to draw up close 
under the window, in order to welcome his reverence on the 
points of their weapons as he went out head-foremost. The 
order was promptly obeyed with loud huzzas. The parson's legs 
were tied firmly together with a towel which the captain found 
in the room ; but his arms were left loose to flourish about, as 
they said, like a windmill, and make the sight the more agreeable ! 

" Now, boys," said the Captain, " I'll out with his reverence ; 
and when I let him go, do you all catch him /" 

The parson was in good earnest thrust out of the window, 
and hung with his head downward and his arms at liberty (a 
very disagreeable position) to the great amusement of the 
gentlemen of the wattle, as was proved by a due mixture of 
grins and shouts. If any of my readers have seen a pack of 
hungry spaniels sitting on their haunches round a sportsman's 
table, looking up to their master, and licking their jaws with 
impatience for the morsel he holds in his fingers to throw among 
them, they may imagine the enviable situation of Parson Owen, 
dangling out of the grocer's window at the Bull-ring in Wex- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



361 



ford • — Serjeant Murphy meanwhile holding his legs, and now 
and then giving him a little shake, as if he intended to let him 
drop — asking his reverence if he were ready to step down to the 
croppies. 

The condemned Lutheran was, of course, all this time gazing 
with straining eyeballs upon the forest of pikes underneath. 
His blood (as if to witness the curiosity) rushed down to his 
head ; and he naturally fell into a state of delirium. All he 
could recollect or relate afterward was, that "as his eyes met 
the pikes just under him, and heard the rebels call on the 
captain to 'let go V the influx of the blood to his brain operated 
as he should imagine apoplexy might;" — and the captain per- 
ceiving Ins prisoner to be senseless, and actually intending, if 
possible, to save him, cried out to the men below that " by J — s 
the parson was 'stone dead ' of the fright, and was quite kilt /" 

"Hurrah !" cried the wattle-boys. 

"Hurrah!" repeated Captain Murphy : "The devil any use 
in dirtying your pikes with a dead parson ! Better not spoil his 
clothes, boys! his shirt alone is worth a crown, if it's worth a 
farthing." 

Some of the wattlers bespoke one garment — some another : 
— and these were thrown out of the window by Murphy, who 
left the poor parson in his " birthday suit," with five times as 
much blood in his head as it was anatomically entitled to. The 
attendants in the room all thought he was absolutely dead, and 
scampered down to assist in the scramble. But Murphy, as he 
departed, whispered to the owner of the house, " The parson has 
life enough in him, yet ! you don't think I intended to kill my 
neighbour, if I could help it, do you ? But if ever he shoivs 
again, or any of ye tell a single word of this matter, by J — s 
every living sowl shall be burnt into black cinders !" 

The defunct was then covered with a quilt, carried up to a 
back cockloft, and attended there by the two old women who, in 
fact, alone occupied the house. He remained safe and sound 
till the town was retaken by General Lake, who immediately 
hanged several disaffected gentlemen, cut off their heads by 



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martial law, and therewith ornamented the entrance of the 
court-house, as heretofore described. Parson Owen was now 
fully liberated, with the only difference of having got a lank 
body, confused brains, a celestial squint, and an illegitimate sort 
of St. Vitus's dance, commonly called a muscular contortion, 
which, by occasional twitches and jerks, imparted both to his 
features and limbs considerable variety. 

However, by the extraordinary caprice of Dame Fortune, 
what the parson considered the most dreadful incident of his 
life turned out, in one respect, the most fortunate one. Mr. 
Brown, the father of his charmer, was moved to pity by his 
sufferings and escape, and still further conciliated by the twist 
in his optic nerves, which gave the good clergyman the appear- 
ance, whenever he played the orator in his reading-desk or pul- 
pit, of looking steadfastly and devoutly up to heaven. Hence 
he acquired the reputation of being marvellously increased in 
godliness ; and Miss Brown, with her debentures, was at length 
committed to his "holy keeping." I believe, however, the 
worthy man did not long survive to enjoy his wished-for pros- 
perity. St. Vitus grew too familiar ; and poor Owen became, 
successively, puny, sickly, and imbecile : the idea of the pikes 
never quitted his sensorium ; and after a brief union, he left his 
spouse a dashing young widow, to look out for another help- 
mate, which I understand she was not long in providing. 

Sudden fright and horror, or even agitating news, have often 
the most extraordinary effect on the human frame, exciting a 
variety of disorders, and sometimes even death. I have myself 
seen numerous examples of the overwhelming influence of sur- 
prise. Not long since, a near relative of mine, a clergyman of 
ample fortune — a pattern of benevolence and hospitality — 
healthy, comely, happy, and adored by his parishioners — had 
been driven into some trifling lawsuit He had conceived a 
strange opinion, that a clergyman would be disgraced by any 
cause he contested being given against him. With this notion, 
he attached an ideal importance to success ; and the thing alto- 
gether rendered him anxious and uneasy. The day of decision 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



363 



at the assizes of Carlow came on : he drove in his gig to the 
court-house door, quite certain of the justice of his cause, and 
confident, therefore, of its issue ; when the attorney who acted 
for his opponent, coming out of court, abruptly told him that 
the decision was adverse to him. The extreme suddenness of 
this unexpected news, like an electric shock, paralysed his frame, 
extinguished all his faculties — and, in a word, he instantaneously 
fell dead ! The event was even if possible more lamentable, as 
the intelligence was communicated in sport. The cause had 
been actually decided in my relation's favour. 



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EEBEL POETEAITS. 

When we read or hear of public and distinguished characters, 
whether good or bad, we are naturally disposed to draw in our 
mind a figure or face for each, correspondent to the actions which 
rendered the individual conspicuous. We are inclined, for in- 
stance, to paint in our imagination a rebel chieftain as an athletic 
powerful personage, with a commanding presence ; an authori- 
tative voice to control ; and impetuous bravery to lead on a 
tumultuous army of undisciplined insurgents. Were this always 
the case, insurrections would, perhaps, stand a better chance of 
being successful.* 

In the Irish Eebellion of 1798 the chief leaders had scarcely 
any of these attributes. Numerically, the rebels were sufficient, 
and more than sufficient, to effect all their objects ; but they 
had no idea of discipline, and little of subordination. Their 
intrepidity was great, and their perseverance in the midst of fire 
and slaughter truly astonishing. Yet on every occasion it was 
obviously the cause and not the leaders that spurred them into 
action : when Irishmen are well officered they never yield.f 

* Such was the case with the Bretons in La Vendee. An officer of rank in 
the French army at that period, commanding a regiment of chasseur republicans, 
told me very lately that above 15,000 regular troops (his regiment among the 
rest) were surprised at noon-day, defeated and dispersed, and their artillery and 
baggage taken, by a smaller number of totally undisciplined Vendeans, with few 
firearms, but led on by officers selected for powerful strength and fiery enthusiasm. 
Their contempt for life, and impetuosity in close combat, were irresistible ; the 
latter, indeed, was always a characteristic with them, and the gallantry of their 
chiefs was quite unparalleled. — (Author s note.) 

t The battle of Ross, in June 1798, lasted ten hours. The rebel officers did 
nothing, the men everything. While the commander-in-chief, Counsellor Bagenal 
Harvey, was standing on a hill nearly a mile distant, a boy twelve years old (Lett 
of Wexford town) called on the insurgents to follow him. He put himself at the 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



365 



A spirit of uncompromising fortitude or enthusiastic gallantry 
generally spreads over the countenance some characteristic trait. 
Undisciplined followers are fascinated by ferocious bravery : 
they rush blindly anywhere, after an intrepid leader. But a 
languid eye, unbraced features, and unsteady movements, pal- 
pably betray the absence of that intellectual energy, and con- 
tempt of personal danger, which are indispensable qualities for 
a rebel chief. 

To reflect on the great number of respectable and unfortunate 
gentlemen who lost their lives by the hands of the common 
executioner in consequence of that insurrection, is particularly 
sad ; indeed, as melancholy as anything connected with the long 
misrule and consequent wretched state of brave and sensitive 
Ireland — which is now, at the termination of seven hundred 
years, in a state of more alarming and powerful disquietude than 
at any period since its first connection with England. 

I had been in long habits of friendship and intercourse with 
most of the leading chiefs of that rebellion. Their features and 
manners rise, as it were in a vision, before my face : indeed, 
after thirty long years of factious struggle and agitation, when 
nothing remains of Ireland's pride and independence but the 
memory, every circumstance occasioning and attending that 
period, and the subsequent revolution of 1800, remains in freshest 
colours in the recollection of a man who once prided himself 
on being born an Irishman. 

I made allusion, in a previous part of this work, to a dinner 
of which I partook in April 1798, at Bargay Castle, County 
Wexford, the seat of Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey, who, I may 
as well repeat here, was a month afterward general-in-chief over 
an army of more than thirty thousand men (mostly of his own 
country), brave and enthusiastic ; and, in two months more, 

head of ten thousand men — approached the town, and stormed it. The town 
took fire ; the rebels got liquor ; and they were killed in sleep and drunkenness. 
Nothing could have saved our troops had the rebels been well officered : General 
Johnston, who commanded the royalists, deserved great praise for his judgment 
on that critical occasion. — (Authors note.) 



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died by the hands of the hangman. He had been my school 
and class fellow, and from nine years of age we held uninter- 
rupted intercourse : he was a most singular example of mixed 
and opposite qualities ; and of all human beings, I should least 
have predicted for him such a course, or such a catastrophe. 

Harvey was son of one of the six clerks of chancery, who, 
having amassed a very considerable fortune, purchased the estate 
and castle of Bargay. 

Beauchamp Bagenal, his eldest son, was called to the Irish 
bar, and succeeded to his father's estates. It was said that he 
was nearly related by blood to that most extraordinary of all the 
country gentlemen of Ireland, Beauchamp Bagenal of Dunlickry, 
whose splendour and eccentricities were the admiration of the 
Continent while he was making the grand tour (then reserved as 
part of the education of the very highest circles). This relation- 
ship was the subject of much merriment after a duel which 
Harvey's reputed kinsman provoked my friend to fight with 
him, in order to have the satisfaction of ascertaining " whether 
or no the lad had mettle."* 

Harvey's person was extremely unimposing. He was about 
five feet four inches in height ; and that ancient enemy of all 
beauty, the small-pox, had shown him no mercy, every feature 
being sadly crimped thereby. His sharp-peaked chin never ap- 
proached toward a contact with his cravat, but left a thin scraggy 
throat to give an impoverished hungry cast to the whole contour, 
by no means adapted to the mien and port of a " commander of 
the forces." His scanty hair generally hung in straight flakes, 
and did not even pretend to be an ornament to his visage ; his 
eye was quick but unmeaning ; his figure thin and ill put to- 
gether ; his limbs short, slight, and wabbling ; his address cheer- 
ful, but tremulous. On the whole, a more unprepossessing or 
unmartial-like person was never moulded by capricious nature. 

* Mr. Bagenal provoked Harvey to challenge him. They met. Harvey fired, 
and missed. "D — n you, you young rascal," cried Bagenal, "do you know 
that you had like to kill your godfatJier? Go back to Dunlickry, you dog, and 
have a good breakfast got ready for us. I only wanted to see if you were stout." 

— (Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



367 



Yet Harvey was a very good-tempered, friendly man, and a 
hearty companion. In common life lie was extremely well con- 
ducted, and in the society of the bar often amusing, and never 
out of humour. 

He was the greatest punster of his profession, and piqued 
himself on that qualification, in which he often succeeded ad- 
mirably.*" He had, in short, that sort of partial popularity with 
his bar contemporaries as rendered them always glad to have 
him in their society ; but it was seldom any one inquired what 
had become of him when he was out of it. He had an ample 
store of individual courage, feared not single combat, and 
fought several duels intrepidly, though I do not think he ever 
provoked one. He shot Sir Harding Gifford, late Chief-Justice 
of Ceylon, and obtained a very droll name through that achieve- 
ment, which never forsook him during Iris lifetime. 

Harvey was a person of the best fortune in his quarter of the 
county ; of a Protestant family ; and, being charitable and 
benevolent to his tenantry, was much beloved by them. No- 
body, in fact, could dislike him ; though he was flippant, he did 
not want sense, and presented an excellent example of those 
contradictory qualities so often discoverable in the same indi- 
vidual. He was considered by the heads of the United Irish- 
men to be well adapted — as a man of fortune and local influence 
in the most disaffected portion of their strongest county — to for- 
ward their objects ; and he suffered his vanity so far to over- 
come Iris judgment as, without the slightest experience, to 

* 1 cannot omit introducing here one of his puns, because he ran a great risk 
of being shot for making it A gentleman of the bar, married to a lady who had 
lost all her front teeth, and squinted so curiously that she appeared nearly blind, 
happened to be speaking of another lady who had run away from her husband. 
" Well," said Harvey, "you have some comfort as to your wife." 

"What do you mean, sir ?" said the barrister. 

" I mean that if once you should lose Mrs. , you will never be able to 

i dmt-ify her." 

If Mr. had cared a farthing for his wife, it would have been impossible to 

reconcile this joke to him. 

The above was an inferior pun, but it was to the point, and created great 
merriment. — (A uthors note. ) 



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assume the command of a great army, for which purpose there 
were few men in Ireland so utterly unfit. 

In his martial office his head became totally bewildered ; the 
sphere of action was too great — the object struggled for too com- 
prehensive. Nor did even his personal courage follow him to 
the field. His bravery, as against a single man, was neutralised 
in a tumult ; and a mind naturally intrepid became bewildered, 
puzzled, and impotent. Amidst the roar of cannon, and the 
hurly-burly of the tumultuous and sanguinary battle of Eoss, 
his presence of mind wholly forsook him, and he lost the day by 
want of tact and absence of spirit. His men fought hand to 
hand in the streets of Ross with the regular troops, of whom 
they slew a considerable number, including the Earl of Mount- 
joy ; nor did they at last retire until they had not a single 
officer left to continue the engagement or lead them on to a re- 
newed attack, which in all probability would have been effec- 
tual. Never did human beings show more decided bravery than 
the Irish peasantry in that bloody engagement. Thrice the 
town was theirs, and was finally lost by their inebriety and 
want of proper officers. Had Harvey captured New Eoss, all 
Munster would have risen in his cause ; and then indeed no 
royalist could have anticipated without dread the consequences. 
Officers and arms would have made the whole country inevitably 
theirs. When Wexford was retaken, Harvey concealed himself 
on an island, but was discovered, brought to that town, and 
without much ceremony hanged next day upon the bridge, to- 
ward the erection of which he had largely subscribed. 

I could not but feel extreme regret at the sad fate which 
befell my old friend and schoolfellow, who did not meet his 
destiny quite so firmly as his original manly bearing had 
inclined people to expect. Poor fellow! he idly strove by 
entreaty to avert, or at least retard it, and its infliction was 
aggravated by every species of indignity. In everything except 
his politics Harvey's character was unimpeachable. 

I never knew two persons much more dissimilar than were 
the commander-in-chief of the insurgents and the rebel governor 



OF HIS OW.\ TIMES. 



369 



of Wexford, Captain Keogh. The latter was a retired captain 
of the British service, who had fought in America, and, like 
many others, had there received a lesson on civil liberty which 
never escaped his memory. He was married to an aunt of Lady 
Barrington ; and for many years, when I went the circuit, I 
lived at his house, and had conceived the greatest friendship for 
him. He was a very clever man. His housekeeping was cha- 
racterised by neatness, regularity, and cheerfulness. Everything 
was good of its kind, and in that plentiful country even luxuries 
were abundant. Calm, determined, moderate, and gentlemanly, 
Captain Keogh combined good sense with firmness and spirit. 
But, most unfortunately, ill-treatment sustained from Lord 
Chancellor Clare perverted half his good qualities, and meta- 
morphosed him into a partisan, which was far from being his 
natural tendency. 

He had a fine soldier-like person, above the middle size ; his 
countenance was excellent ; his features regular and engaging ; 
his hair, rather scanty, receded from his forehead ; his eyes were 
penetrating and expressive ; and his complexion exhibited that 
partial ruddiness which we so frequently see in fine men 
approaching threescore. He was appointed rebel governor of 
Wexford, but among those savages soon lost his popularity ; 
and had the insurgents continued much longer masters of the 
place, he would surely have been assassinated. He did what he 
durst on the side of humanity, and had supposed that his orders 
would be obeyed ; but he was deceived — blood, and blood in 
torrents, was the object of both parties during that horrid sum- 
mer. On the surrender of the town Keogh was immediately 
convicted under martial law. He pleaded for himself, and I 
learn that on that occasion everybody was affected. He knew 
his situation to be irretrievable, and his life forfeit ; and he 
conducted himself at his execution with the utmost firmness, as 
became a gentleman and a soldier. He was hanged and be- 
headed on the bridge of which he was also a proprietor, and 
his head, as mentioned before, was exhibited on a spike over the 
court-house door. 

VOL. II. 2 B 



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barrington's personal sketches 



A singular circumstance occurred in Keogh's house while 
the rebels were in possession of Wexford. His brother, a 
retired major in the British army, had also served in America, 
and lived with the captain in Wexford, but was a most enthu- 
siastic royalist. Upon the rebels taking the place, he endeavoured 
to dissuade his brother from accepting the office of governor, but 
failing in the attempt, he retired to his own room, and imme- 
diately blew his brains out ! 

The next of my friends and connections who suffered by the 
hands of the executioner was Mr. Cornelius Grogan of Johnstown 
Castle, a gentleman of large fortune and great local interest and 
connection. He had been twice high-sheriff and representative 
in Parliament for the county. He resided three miles from 
Wexford at his castle, where he had a deer-park of one thousand 
acres of good ground, besides a fine demesne. He lived as a 
quiet, though hospitable, country gentleman. At this unfortu- 
nate period he had passed his seventieth year, and was such a 
martyr to the gout that his hands were wrapped up in flannel ; 
and half carried, half hobbling upon crutches, he proceeded to 
the place of execution. 

Mr. Grogan was in person short and dark-complexioned. 
His countenance, however, was not disagreeable, and he had in 
every respect the address and manners of a man of rank. His 
two brothers commanded yeomanry corps. One of them was 
killed at the head of his corps (the Castletown cavalry) at the 
battle of Arklaw ; the other was wounded at the head of his 
troop (the Healtford cavalry) during Major Maxwell's retreat 
from Wexford. 

The form of a trial was thought necessary by General Lake 
for a gentleman of so much importance in his county. His case 
was afterward brought before Parliament, and argued for three 
successive days and nearly nights. His crime consisted in 
having been surrounded by a rebel army, which placed him 
under the surveillance of numerous ruffians. They forced him 
one day into the town on horseback — a rebel, of the appropriate 
name of Savage, always attending him with a blunderbuss, and 



OF HIS OWN TIMES 



371 



orders to shoot him if he refused their commands. They one 
day nominated him a commissary, knowing that his numerous 
tenantry would be more willing in consequence to supply them. 
He used no weapon of any sort — indeed was too feeble even to 
hold one. A lady, of the name of Seagriff, gave evidence that 
her family were in want of food, and that she got Mr. Grogan to 
give her an order for some bread, which order was obeyed by 
the insurgents. She procured some loaves, and supplied her 
children ; and for that bread (which saved a family from starv- 
ation) Mr. Grogan was, on the lady's evidence, sentenced to die 
as a felon, and actually hanged, when already almost lifeless 
from pain, imprisonment, age, and brutal treatment ! The 
court-martial which tried him was not sworn, and only mus- 
tered seven in number. His witness was shot while on the way 
to give evidence of his innocence ; and, while General Lake was 
making merry with his staff, one of the first gentlemen in the 
county (in every point his superior) was done to death almost 
before his windows ! 

From my intimate knowledge of Mr. Grogan for several 
years I can venture to assert most unequivocally (and it is but 
justice to his memory) that, though a person of independent 
mind and conduct as well as fortune, and an opposition member 
of Parliament, he was no more a rebel than his brothers, who 
signalised themselves in battle as loyalists ; and the survivor of 
whom was rewarded by a posthumous bill of attainder against 
the unfortunate gentleman in question, by virtue of which 
estates of many thousands per annum were confiscated to the 
king. (The survivor's admitted loyal brother had been killed 
in battle only a few days before the other was executed.) This 
attainder was one of the most flagitious acts ever promoted by 
any government ; but, after ten thousand pounds costs to crown 
officers, etc., had been extracted from the property, the estates 
were restored. I spent the summer of 1799 at Johnstown 
Castle, where I derived much private information as to the 
most interesting events of that unfortunate era. 

It is, of course, most painful to me to recollect those persons 



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whose lives were taken — some fairly, some, as I think, unfairly — 
at a time when military law had no restraint, and enormities 
were daily committed through it not much inferior to those 
practised by the rebels. 

Sir Edward Crosby, a baronet with whom I was intimately 
acquainted, and who also lived tranquilly, as a country gentle- 
man, upon a moderate fortune near Carlow, was another person 
who always struck me to have been murdered by martial law. 
There was not even a rational pretence for his execution. His 
trial, with all its attending documents, has been published, and his 
innocence, in fact, made manifest. The president of the martial 
court was one Major Dennis, who some time after quitted the 
service — I shall not mention why. The sentence on Sir Edward 
was confirmed by Sir Charles Asgill, I must suppose through 
gross misrepresentation, as Sir Charles had himself known 
enough about hanging (though personally innocent) in America, 
to have rendered him more merciful, or at least more cautious 
in executing the first baronet of Ireland. 

The entire innocence of Sir Edward Crosby has since, as I 
just now mentioned, been acknowledged by all parties. His 
manners were mild and well-bred ; he was tall and genteel in 
appearance, and upward of fifty years of age. He had a wife 
who loved him, and was every way a happy man till he was 
borne to execution without the slighest cause. He was the 
elder brother of my old college friend, Balloon Crosby, whom I 
have heretofore mentioned in relating my rencontre with Mr. 
Daly. He did not die with the courage of Keogh, but hoped 
for mercy to the last minute, relying on the interference of 
his old friend Judge Downes, who, however, proved but a 
broken reed. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



373 



REMINISCENCES OF WIT. 

There is no intellectual faculty so difficult to define, or of which 
there are so many degrees and gradations, as wit. Humour may 
be termed a sort of tabic dlidte, whereat wit and ribaldry some- 
times mingle. Certain eminent countrymen of mine possessed 
these various conversational qualities in great perfection, and 
often called them into action at the same sitting. Among them, 
Mr. Curran and Chief-Baron Yelverton were most conspicuous ; 
but the flow of their bonhomie was subject to many contingencies. 
It is worthy of notice, that all the Irish judges of those days 
who could conjure up a single joke, affected wit. Lord Clonmell, 
chief justice, was but clumsy at repartee, though an efficient 
humorist. He seldom rose above anecdotes, but these he acted 
whilst he told them. He had the peculiar advantage of knowing 
mankind well, and suiting his speech to the ears of his company. 
Lord Norbury had witticisms, puns, jeu-cV esprit — in short, jokes 
of all kinds, constantly at hand. His impromptus were some- 
times excellent, but occasionally failed ; he made, however, more 
hits than any one of his contemporaries. Nobody, it is true, 
minded much what he said ; if it was good, they laughed 
heartily; if bad, it was only a Norbury ; and so, by an inde- 
fatigable practice of squibbing, it is not wonderful that, during a 
life of eighty years, he should have uttered many good things, 
though, oddly enough, few of them are preserved. 

Lord Norbury sang extremely well. On my first circuit as 
counsel, in 1787, he went as judge, and I have often heard him 
warble " Black-eyed Susan," and " Admiral Benbow," as well as 
parts in divers glees and catches, most agreeably. Bequiescat 
in pace ! 



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Sir Hercules Langrishe, a commissioner of revenue, and one 
of the most popular courtiers of our society, had an abundance of 
slow, kind-hearted, though methodistically-pronounced, repartee. 
(A living friend of mine in high rank has much more wit than 
Sir Hercules ; but there is less philanthropy about it.) I have 
heretofore mentioned his retort courteous to Mr. Dundas, and will 
now give another specimen. He was surprised one evening at 
his house in Stephen's Green, by Sir John Parnell, Duigenan, 
and myself, who went to him on an immaterial matter of 
revenue business. We found him in his study alone, poring 
over the national accounts, with two claret bottles empty before 
him, and a third bottle on the wane ; it was about eight o'clock 
in the evening, and the butler, according to general orders when 
gentlemen came in, brought a bottle of claret to each of us. 
" Why," said Parnell, " Sir Heck, you have emptied two bottles 
already." " True," said Sir Hercules. " And had you nobody 
to help you ?" " yes, I had that bottle of port there, and I 
assure you he afforded me very great assistance I" 

Gervoise Parker Bushe could boast of wit enough for a 
member of Parliament, and more than enough for a commis- 
sioner of the revenue. An eminent relative of his, now living, 
possesses the finest specimen I know at present of the smooth, 
classical species. 

I never knew two distinguished individuals approach each 
other so nearly in many respects as the late Chief-Baron Hussy 
Burgh and the personage who now presides over the first law 
court of Ireland. In some points, it is true, they differed — the 
former was proud, the latter affable. The eloquence of the 
former was more highly polished, more classical and effective ; 
that of the latter, more simple, more familiar, yet decided. When 
very young, I was fascinated by the eloquence of the silver- 
tongued orator (as he was then called), and sought every possible 
opportunity of hearing him both at the bar and in the House of 
Commons. His was the purest declamation I have ever listened 
to ; and when he made an instrument of his wit, it was pointed 
and acute. He was a miscellaneous poet, and wrote epigrams 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



375 



(several upon Lord Aldborough), which were extremely severe, 
but at the same time extremely humorous. 

It would be almost impossible to enumerate the wits and 
humorists of Ireland in my early days. Wit was then regularly 
cultivated as an accomplishment, and was, in a greater or less 
degree, to be found in every society. Those whom nature had 
not blessed with that faculty, if a blessing it is, still did their 
very best — as a foreigner sports his broken English. 

The convivial circles of the higher orders of Irish society, in 
fact, down to the year 1800, in point of wit, pleasantry, good 
temper, and friendly feeling, were pre-eminent ; while the plen- 
tiful luxuries of the table, and rich furniture of the wine-cellar, 
were never surpassed, if equalled, among the gentry of any 
country. But everything is now changed ; that class of society 
is no more ; neither men nor manners are the same ; and even 
the looking back at those times affords a man who participated 
in their pleasures higher gratification than do the actual enjoy- 
ments of the passing era. 

People may say this change is in myself. Perhaps so ; yet 
I think that if it were possible for an old man still to preserve 
unimpaired all the sensations of youth, he would, were he a 
gentleman, be of my way of thinking. As for those of my con- 
temporaries who survive, and who lived in the same circles with 
myself, I have no doubt they are unanimously of my opinion. 
I had very lately an opportunity of seeing this powerfully 
exemplified by a noble lord at my house. Good fortune had 
attended him throughout life ; always respected and beloved, 
he had at length become wealthy. When we talked over the 
days we had spent in our own country, his eyes filled, and he 
confessed to me his bitter repentance as to the Union. 

The members of the Irish bar were then collectively the best 
home-educated persons in Ireland, the elder sons of respectable 
families being almost uniformly called to that profession. 
Among them, nevertheless, were some of humbler origin. 
Jeremiah Keller was such ; but his talent sufficed to elevate 
him. He had the rare faculty of dressing up the severest satire 



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in the garb of pleasantry — a faculty, by-the-by, which makes 
no friends, and often deepens and fixes animosity. 

Keller was a good man, generally liked, and popular with a 
considerable portion of his profession. But though not rich, he 
occasionally exercised an independence of mind and manners 
which gave great distaste to the pride and arrogance of some of 
the leading authorities. Lord Clare could not endure him, and 
never missed an opportuity of showing or affecting to show his 
contempt for Jerry. 

Lord Clare having died of the Union and the Duke of Bedford, 
it was proposed by his led captains and partisans that the bar 
in a body should attend his funeral procession. But as his 
Lordship had made so many inveterate foes at the bar, by 
taking pains to prove himself their foe, it was thought necessary 
to canvass the profession individually, and ascertain who among 
them would object to attend. Yery few did ; not that they 
cherished any personal respect for Lord Clare, but wislied to 
compliment the remains of the first Irish chancellor. As Keller 
was known to be obstinate as well as virulent, it was held 
desirable to conciliate him if possible, though they anticipated 
the certainty of a direct refusal. 

The deputation accordingly called on him. "You know, 
my dear fellow," said Arthur Chichester M'Courtney, who had 
been deputed as spokesman (beating about the bush), " that 
Lord Clare is to be buried to-morrow?" 

" 'Tis generally the last thing done with dead chancellors," 
said Keller coolly. 

" He'll be buried in St. Peter's," said the spokesman. 

" Then he's going to a friend of the family," said Keller. 
" His father was a papist." * 

* Old Counsellor Fitzgibbon, Lord Clare's father, was born a Roman Catholic, 
and educated for a priest. His good sense, however, opened his eyes to his own 
intellectual abilities, and he determined to get, if possible, to the bar — that sure 
source of promotion for reasoning talent. But when or where (if ever) he re- 
nounced the Romish church, I am ignorant. He acquired great and just emi- 
nence as a barrister, and made a large fortune. Lord Clare was born his second 
son. Mrs. Jeffries, his sister, I knew well, and I cannot pass her by here with- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



377 



This created a laugh disconcerting to the deputation ; how- 
ever, for fear of worse, the grand question was then put. " My 
dear Keller," said the spokesman, "the bar mean to go in 
procession : have you any objection to attend Lord Clare's 
funeral?" 

" None at all," said Keller, " none at all ! I shall certainly 
attend his funeral with the greatest pleasure imaginable /" 

Examples of Keller's dry species of wit in fact daily oc- 
curred ; it was always pungent, and generally well-timed. In 
the year 1798 flourished Sir Judkin Fitzgerald, Bart,, a barrister, 
whose loyal cruelties in the county of Tipperary were made the 
subject of a post facto indemnity bill by Lord Castlereagh, to 
save him from punishment. Among other pastimes he caused 
cats-o'-nine-tails to be soaked in brine, that the peasantry and 
everybody else at whom he durst have a fling might be better 
cut, and remember it the longer. Bragging to Keller of his 
numerous ultra-loyal achievements, this man said, " You must 
own, Keller, at least, that I preserved the county of Tipperary." 

"Ay, and you pickled it into the bargain!" said Keller: 
" you promise to make so good a body confectioner, that I daresay 
the lord-lieutenant will hire you ;" and in fact Sir Judkin was 
soon afterward put in office at the Castle. 

The unfortunate Counsellor Xorcott, heretofore mentioned 
in these sketches, was a fat, full-faced, portly-looking person. 
He had a smirking countenance, and a swaggering air ; was an 
excellent ban vivant, a remarkably good mimic, and affected to 
be witty. 

out saying that, whatever faults she had, her female correctness was unquestioned ; 
and throughout my life I have never met a kinder-hearted being than Mrs. 
J efFries, or a fairer though a decided enemy. Old Mr. Fitzgibbon loved to make 
money, and in his day it was not the habit for lawyers to spend it. They used 
to tell a story of him respecting a certain client who brought his own brief and 
fee, that he might personally apologise for the smallness of the latter. Fitz- 
gibbon, on receiving the fee, looked rather discontented. " I assure you, Coun- 
sellor," said the client (mournfully), "I am ashamed of its smallness; but, in 
fact, it is all I have in the world." "Oh! then," said Fitzgibbon, "you can 
do no more. As it's 1 all you have in the world' — why — hem ! — I must — take it/" 
— (Author's note.) 



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barrington's personal sketches 



Speaking of the Catholics in the hall of the Four Courts, 
Keller seemed to insinuate that Norcott was favourable to their 
emancipation. 

"What!" said Norcott, with a great show of pomposity — 
" what ! Pray, Keller, do you see anything that smacks of the 
Pope about me ?" 

" I don't know," replied Keller ; " but at all events there is 
a great deal of the Pretender, and I always understood them to 
travel in company." 

This was a kind of caustic wit which was not much culti- 
vated in the higher convivial societies of that day, the members 
whereof used a more cordial species. But such sallies were 
always repeated with great glee when they did not affect the 
person who repeated them. 

Norcott's mimicry was complete. This is a disagreeable 
and dangerous, because generally an offensive faculty. The 
foibles, absurdities, or personal defects of mankind are thus 
caricatured, and the nearer perfection the mimicry, the more 
annoying to be mimicked. Done in a man's presence, it 
amounts to a personal insult ; in his absence, it is dramatic 
backbiting, a bad quality in every point of view to cultivate, 
and such a weapon of ill-nature as everybody should assist in 
blunting. 

In a company where the late Lord Chief-Baron Avonmore 
was a guest, Norcott was called on to show his imitative powers. 
He did so with great effect, taking off particularly well the 
peculiarities of the judges ; and when he had finished, Lord 
Avonmore said, with point, but good humour, " Upon my word, 
Norcott, as you so ably exposed the absurdities of eleven of the 
judges, I think you did not act fairly by us in not giving also 
the twelfth of them " (his lordship's self). Norcott did not utter 
a word more during the evening. 

It is very singular that a man with such a surplus of wit as 
Curran never could write a good epigram ; nor, with such an 
emporium of language, compose a pamphlet or essay that would 
pay for the printing ; while a very eminent living friend of 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



379 



mine, high in the world — though not Oman's equal in either 
qualities — has written some of the most agreeable and classic 
jeux-d? esprit, of the most witty and humorous papers, and most 
effective pamphlets, that have issued from the pen of any mem- 
ber of his profession during my time. I had collected as many 
as I could of this gentleman's productions and sayings (several 
printed and a few in manuscript) ; but, unfortunately, the whole 
was lost in a trunk of mine (with a great number of my books 
and private papers and memoranda) in 1812. I can scarce 
attempt to recollect any of them, save one or two, which may 
give some idea, but nothing more, of the agreeable playfulness 
of this gentleman's fancy. They have been long recorded by 
the Irish bar ; and some of the English bar, who are not at 
present celebrated for their own impromptus or witticisms, and 
are too wise and stead)/ to understand those of Ireland (unless in 
print and after due consideration), may be amused by reading 
and unriddling an Irish epigram, sent into the world by an 
English bookseller * 

A placard having been posted in the courts of law in Dublin 
by a bookseller for the sale of Bibles, the gentleman I allude to 
wrote instantly under it with his pencil — 

How clear is the case, 

He's mistaken the place, 

His books of devotion to sell : 

He should learn once for all, 

That he'll never get call 
For the sale of his Bibles in hell. 

Had the above jeu-d' esprit been the impromptu of a beaten 
client, he would have got great credit for it ; and in truth, I 
think, after a year or two of litigation in a court of justice, most 
clients would freely subscribe their names to the concluding 
epithet. 

Another jeu-d y esprit I remember, and so no doubt do all the 

* An English gentleman once said to me very seriously, that he always pre- 
ferred a London edition of an Irish hook, as he thought, somehow or other, it 
helped to take out the brogue. — (Author s note.) 



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bar of my standing who have any recollection left, — of whom, 
however, there is, I fancy, no great number. 

There is a very broad and boisterous ferry between the 
counties of Wicklow and Wexford, called Ballinlaw, which the 
Leinster bar, on circuit, were obliged to cross in a bad boat. At 
times the wind was extremely violent between the hills, the 
waters high, and the passage dangerous ; — yet the briefs were at 
the other side : and many a nervous barrister, who on a simple 
journey would have ridden a high-trotting horse fifty miles round- 
about rather than cross Ballinlaw when the waves were in an 
angry humour, yet, being sure that there was a golden mine, and 
a phalanx of attorneys brandishing their white briefs on the 
opposite shore — commending himself to Divine Providence, 
and flinging his saddle-bags into the boat — has stepped in after 
them ; and if he had any prayers or curses by heart, now and 
then pronounced a fragment of such in rotation as were most 
familiar to him, on launching into an element which he never 
drank, and had a rooted aversion to be upset in. 

The curious colloquy of a boatman, on one of those boisterous 
passages, with Counsellor Caesar Colclough, once amused such of 
the passengers as had not the fear of death before their eyes. 

Caesar Colclough of Duffry Hall, a very eccentric, quiet 
character, not overwise (he was afterwards Chief Justice of 
Newfoundland), was in the boat during a storm. Getting ner- 
vous, he could not restrain his piety, and began to lisp out, " 
Lord ! Lord !" breathing an ardent prayer that he might once 
more see his own house, Duffry Hall, in safety, and taste a sweet 
barn-door fowl or duck, of which he had fine breeds. 

" Arrah ! Counsellor," said the boatman, " don't be going on 
praying that side, if you plase ; sure it's the other lad you ought 
to be praying to." 

" What lad do you mean ?" said Colclough with alarm. 

" What lad ! why, Counsellor, the old people always say 
that the devil takes care of his own ; and if you don't vex him 
by praying the other way, I really think, Counsellor, we have a 
pretty safe cargo aboard at this present passage." 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



381 



The friend I alluded to, whose wit and pencil were always 
ready, immediately placed Caesar in a much more classical point 
of view. Though he made him a downright idolater, yet he put 
him on a level with a mighty hero or emperor — writing upon the 
back of a letter thus : — 

While meaner souls the tempest kept in awe, 
Intrepid Colclough, crossing Ballinlaw, 
Cried to the sailors (shivering in their rags) 
You carry Ccesar and his saddle-bags ! 

Little did Julius Caesar foresee before the birth of Christ 
that the first man at the Irish bar would, near two thousand 
years afterward, call to mind his exploits in Gaul on the waves 
of Ballinlaw, in the roaring of a hurricane. Should I meet him 
hereafter, I shall certainly tell him the anecdote. 



382 



barrington's personal sketches 



COUNSELLOK LYSAGHT. 

Among the eccentric characters formerly abounding at the Irish 
bar, was one whose species of talent is nearly extinct, but whose 
singularities are still recollected by such of his professional con- 
temporaries as have had the good fortune to survive him. 

Edward Lysaght, a gentleman by birth, was left, as to for- 
tune, little else than his brains and his pedigree. The latter, 
however, was of no sort of use to him, and he seldom employed 
the former to any lucrative purpose. He considered law as his 
trade, and conviviality (to the cultivation whereof no man could 
apply more sedulously) as his 'profession. Full of point and 
repartee, every humorist and ton vivant was his patron. He 
had a full proportion of animal courage ; and even the fire-eaters 
of Tipperary never courted his animosity. Songs, epigrams, and 
lampoons, which from other pens would have terminated in 
mortal combat, being considered inherent in his nature, were 
universally tolerated. 

Some of Lysaght's sonnets had great merit, and many of his 
national stanzas were singularly characteristic. His " Sprig of 
shillelah and shamrock so green" is admirably and truly descrip- 
tive of the low Irish character, and never was that class so well 
depicted in so few words ; but, to my taste, his sketch of a May 
morning is not to be exceeded in that cheerful colouring and 
natural simplicity which constitute the very essence and spirit 
of genuine pastoral. The beginning of the copy of verses called 
" Ounagh" offers an illustration of this ; and it is much to be 
lamented that, with strange inconsistency, the man did n'ot write 
another line of it adapted for publication. The first verse is, 
however, in my mind, worthy of being recorded, and I give it as 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



383 



a sample either of my bad or good taste. All I am sure of is, 
that / admire it. 

'Twas on a fine May morning, 

When violets were springing 0, 
Dew-drops the fields adorning, 
The birds melodious singing 0. 

The green trees 

Each soft breeze 
Was gently waving up and down : 

The primrose 

That sweet blows 
Adorned Nature's verdant gown : 

The purling rill 

Stole down the hill, 
And softly murmur' d thro' the grove, 
This was the time Ounagh stole out to meet 
her barefoot love.* 

Lysaght was, perhaps, not a poet in the strict acceptation of 
the term ; but he wrote a great number of miscellaneous verses, 
some of them, in general estimation, excellent ; some delicate ; 

• Pastoral poetry, whether classic, amatory, or merely rural, owes its chief 
beauty to simplicity. Far-fetched points and fantastic versification destroy its 
generic attribute ; and their use reminds one of the fashion of harmonising the 
popular melodies of a country, in order that young ladies may screech them with 
more complicated execution. 

Thus I prefer, upon the whole, my deceased friend Lysaght's words written to 
an old tune, to those of my celebrated living friend, Mr. Thomas Moore ; and 
think the Ounagh of the one likely to be quite as attractive a girl as the Mary of 
the other, notwithstanding all the finery wherewith the mention of the latter is 
invested. But our readers shall judge for themselves. We have given the com- 
mencement of Mr. Lysaght's version. Here followeth that of Mr. Moore's : — 

The day had sunk in dim showers, 

But midnight now with " lustre meek " 

Illumin'd all the pale flowers, 

Like hope that lights the mourner's cheek. 

I said (while 

The moon's smile 
Play'd o'er a stream in dimpling bliss) 

The moon looks 

On many brooks — 
The brook can see no moon but this. 



384 



baekington's personal sketches 



some gross. I scarce ever saw two of these productions of the 
same metre, and very few were of the same character. Several 
of the best poetical trifles in M'JSTally's " Sherwood Forest" were 
penned by Lysaght. 

Having no fixed politics, or, in truth, decided principles 
respecting anything, he was one day a patriot, the next a 
courtier, and wrote squibs both for government and against it. 
The stanzas relatively commencing, 

Green were the fields that our forefathers dwelt on, etc. 
Where the loud cannons rattle, to battle we'll go, etc. 

and, 

Some few years ago, though now she says no, etc., 

were three of the best of his patriotic effusions ; they were cer- 
tainly very exciting, and he sang them with great effect. He 
ended his literary career by a periodical paper in 1800, written 
principally against me, and called " The Lantern," for which and 
similar squibs he received four hundred pounds from Lord 
Castlereagh. I sincerely wished him joy of the acquisition, and 
told him " if he found me a good chopping-block, he was heartily 
welcome to hack away as long as he could get anything by his 

And thus I thought our fortunes run, 
For many a lover looks on thee, 
"While, oh ! I feel there is hut one — 
One Mary in the world for me ! 

Had not my talented friend garnished the ahove ditty with a note, admitting 
that he had pilfered his Irish Melody from an Englishman's "brains (Sir William 
Jones'), I should have passed over so extravagant an attempt to manufacture 
simplicity. I therefore hope my friend will in future either confide in his own 
supreme talents, or not he so candid as to spoil his song "by his sincerity. " It is 
the devil (said Skirmish) to desert ; hut it's a d — d deal worse to own it ! " 

I think Dean Swift's sample of Love Songs, though written near a century ago, 
has formed an admirable model for a number of modern sonnets. It should he 
much esteemed, since it is copied by so many of our minstrels. 

Love-Song by Dean Swift. 
Fluttering, spread thy purple pinions, 
Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart ; 
I a slave in thy dominions — 

Nature must give way to art, etc. etc. — (Authors note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



385 



butchery." He shook me heartily by the hand, swore I was a 
" d — d good fellow," and the next day took me at my word by 
lampooning me very sufficingly in a copy of verses entitled " The 
Devil in the Lantern !" But I loved abuse, when it was incurred 
for opposing the Union ; and we never had a moment's coolness 
upon that or any other subject. Indeed, I really regarded him 

He attempted to practise at the English bar ; but after a short 
time, told me he found he had not law enough for the King's 
Bench, was not dull enough for the Court of Chancery, and that 
before he could make way at the Old Bailey he must shoot Gar- 
row, which would be extremely disagreeable to him. He there- 
fore recurred to the periodicals ; and though an indifferent prose- 
writer, wielded his goose-quill with no small success. He showed 
me a tariff of his pieces in verse : it was a most pleasant docu- 
ment, and I greatly regret I did not keep a copy of it : he burned 
it, he told me, to light Ins candle with. So indifferent was he of 
the main chance throughout life, that he never adhered long to 
auy pursuit after he found it was really likely to be productive. 

In the year 1785, when I was at Temple, he called on me 
one morning at the Grecian Coffee House, where I then lodged, 
and said, with much seeming importance — 

* Barrington, put on your hat, and come along with me this 
moment. I want to show you a lady who has fallen in love 
with me." 

" In love with you, Ned ?" said I. 

"Ay, to insanity!" replied he. 

" It must indeed be to insanity" 

"Oh!" resumed he, gaily, "she is, I assure you, only con- 
sidering what death she shall inflict on herself if I do not marry 
her. Now, you know I am as poor as a rat, though a gentleman, 
and her father is as rich as Croesus, though a Uaclcguard : so we 
shall be well matched. The blood and the fat duly mixed, as 
Hogarth says, make a right sort of pudding. So the thing is 
settled, and I'll have the twelve tribes of Israel at my beck in 
the course of Monday morning." 

I thought he was distracted and raving ; but, however, im- 

VOL. II. 2 c 



386 



barrington's personal sketches 



mediately set out with him upon this singular expedition ; and 
on our way to the Strand, where the papa resided, he disclosed 
to me all the circumstances of his amour. 

" Barrington," said he, " the lady herself is not, to be sure, 
the most palatable morsel one might see in a circle of females ; 
yet she is obviously of the human species ; has the usual features 
in her face (such as they are), four fingers and a thumb on each 
hand, and two distinct feet with a proper number, I suppose, of 
toes upon each, — and what more need I expect, seeing she has 
plenty of the shiners ?" 

" True," said I : "as for beauty, those English girls, who are 
handsome, are too frolicsome : she'll stick the closer to you, be- 
cause she has none." 

" And what advantage will that be ?" muttered Lysaght, with 
a half-suppressed imprecation. " Her father pretends," continued 
he, " to be a Christian, and affects to keep a shop in the Strand, 
under the name of 'Salmon, watchmaker :' but in reality he is 
a d — d Jew, and only pretends to be a Christian that he may 
transact affairs for certain Israelites of the city, who give him 
the devil's own rate of commission ! — I hope to be a partner ere 
long !" 

"Suppose he receives stolen goods, Ned ?" said I. "You'd 
cut but a queer figure at the tail of a cart with a cat-o'-nine-tails 
flourished over you." 

"Father of Israel!" exclaimed Lysaght, already half a Jew, 
" you mistake the matter totally. No, no I the maid-servant, 
whom I bribed with the price of my last squib in the Chronicle, 
told me everything about Solomon Salmon — his dealings, his 
daughter, and his great iron chest with eleven locks to it : but 
as to goods, he never has fifty pounds' worth of trinkets or watches 
in his shop — only a few in the window to look like trade. He 
deals in the lending and borrowing way only — all cash trans- 
actions, depend on it." 

" For Heaven's sake, Ned," said I, " how did you introduce 
yourself into the family of a Hebrew ?" 

" I met the girl three months ago," he replied, "at a dancing- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



387 



school at Somers' Town, set up by an old Irish acquaintance, 
Terry M'Xamara, with whom I dine sometimes : he told me she 
was a rich Jewess ; so when I heard of her papa, I determined 
to know something more about his daughter, and stole frequently 
to Somers' Town, where Mr. Solomon Salmon has a pretty cit 
cottage. There I hid behind a dead wall just in front, and when 
she came to the window, I nodded, and she ran away, as if offended. 
I knew this was a good sign with a woman. She soon returned 
to the window. I nodded again. Away went she a second time ; 
but I heard a loud laugh, and considered that a capital sign : and 
in fact she came a third time. Then I was sure, and nodded 
twice, whereupon she returned the salutation. Having earned 
on the nodding system sufficiently, I now ventured to speak to 
her on my lingers — an art which I had seen her dexterously 
practise at the dancing-school. ' My love ! ' fingered I ; at which 
she turned her back, but soon turned her face again. ' Iffy love ! ' 
I repeated, still on my fingers. Off she scampered, but soon came 
back in company with the maid-servant, whom I therefore bribed 
next day. I now ventured to suggest an interview the follow- 
ing evening. The Jewess flushed at this proposal ; but on my 
repetition of it, held up seven of her fingers. 

" Of course I was punctual at the time appointed, was admitted, 
and we swore eternal fidelity on the Old Testament. The maid 
betrayed us as soon as I ran short of hush-money, but repented 
afterward, when I gave her a fresh supply, and told me that her 
master, Mr. Solomon Salmon, had locked his daughter up. She 
had then attempted to throw herself out of a two-pair window 
for my sake ; but the old Jew having caught her in the very act, 
she peremptorily told him she was determined to fall into a de- 
cay or consumption of the lungs, if he did not consent to her 
marrying the Christian counsellor. 

" This he was in the sequel forced to agree to, or sacrifice 
his own virgin daughter, like the king in the Bible, besides 
whom he luckily has no other child to inherit his fortune, and 
the mother is at least twenty years past childbearing. 

"At length all was settled, and we are to be actually married 



388 



barrington's personal sketches 



as Christians on Monday next. Little Egar of Hare Court has 
drawn up the marriage articles, and I am to have ten thousand 
now — that is, the interest of it during the Jew's life, payable 
quarterly ; then twenty more, and all the rest on the mother's 
death ; and in the meantime, half his commission on money 
dealings (to commence after a few months' instruction), together 
with the house in Somers' Town, where I shall reside and trans- 
act business." 

All this Lysaght told me with great glee and admirable 
humour. 

" Egad, it's no bad hit, Ned," said I ; " many a high-headed 
grand -juror on the Munster circuit would marry Solomon 
Salmon himself upon the same terms." 

"You'll dine with me," said Lysaght, "on Wednesday, at 
Somers' Town, at five o'clock ? I'll give you a good turkey, and 
such a bottle of old black-strap as neither the Grecian nor the 
Oxford ever had in their cellars for any money." 

" I'll surely attend a new scene, Ned," answered I. 

I was accordingly most punctual. All appeared to be just 
as he had described. It was a small house, well furnished. 
Miss's visage, to be sure, though not frightful was less orna- 
mental than any article on the premises. The maid-servant was 
really a fine girl ; the cook no bad artiste ; the dinner good, and 
the wine capital. Two other Templars were of the party, and 
everything went on well. About eight at night the old Jew 
came in. He appeared a civil, smug, dapper, clean, intelligent 
little fellow, with a bob-wig. He made us all welcome, and soon 
retired to rest, leaving us to a parting bottle. 

The affair proceeded prosperously ; and I often dined with 
my friend in the same cheerful manner. Ned, in fact, became 
absolutely domestic. By degrees he got into the trade; accepted 
all the bills at the Jew's request, to save him trouble, as old 
Salmon kept his own books ; and a large fortune was accumu- 
lating every day, as was apparent by the great quantities of 
miscellaneous property which were sent in and as quickly 
disappeared ; when one morning Ned was surprised at three 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



389 



ugly-looking fellows entering his house rather unceremoniously, 
and without stating their business. Ned immediately seized 
the poker, when his arm was arrested gently by a fourth visitor, 
who said — 

" Easy, easy, Counsellor Lysaght ; we mean you no harm or 
rudeness ; we only do our duty. We are the commissioners' 
messengers, that's all. Gentlemen," said the attorney, as he 
proved to be, to the three ruffians, " do your duty without the 
slightest inconvenience to the counsellor." 

They then proceeded to seal up all the doors, leaving Ned, 
wife, and Co. a bed-room only to console themselves in. 
Mr. Solomon Salmon, in truth, turned out both a Christian and 
a bankrupt, and had several thousands to pay out of the sale of 
about twoscore of silver watches and a few trinkets, which 
constituted the entire of the splendid property lie had so 
liberally settled on Mr. Edward Lysaght as a portion with his 
lady daughter. 

Ned now found himself completely taken in — reduced, as he 
told me, to ten shillings and sixpence in gold, and four shillings 
in silver, but acceptor of bills of exchange for Salmon and 
Co. for more than he could pay should he live a hundred 
years longer than the course of nature would permit him. As 
he had signed no partnership deed, and had no funds, they 
could not make him a bankrupt ; and as the bills had not 
arrived at mercantile maturity, he had some days of grace 
during which to consider himself at liberty. So he thought 
absence and fresh air better than hunger and imprisonment, and 
therefore retreat the wisest course to be taken. He was right ; 
for in some time the creditors, having ascertained that they 
could get nothing of a cat but its skin, even could they catch 
it, suffered him to remain unmolested on his own promise — 
and a very safe one — that, if ever he was able, he would pay 
them. 

He afterward went over to Dublin, to the Irish bar, where 
he made nearly as many friends as acquaintances, but not 
much money ; and at length died ; his widow soon following,. 



390 



barrington's personal sketches 



and leaving two daughters, who, I believe, as teachers of music 
in Dublin, were much patronised and regarded. 

Several years subsequently, being surprised that the credi- 
tors had let Lysaght off so easily, I inquired particulars from 
a solicitor who had been concerned in the affairs of Salmon 
and Co., and he informed me that all the parties, except one, 
had ceased to proceed on the commission ; and that he found 
the true reason why the alleged creditors had agreed to let 
Lysaght alone was, that they had been all engaged in a piece of 
complicated machinery to deceive the unwary, and dreaded lest 
matters should come out in the course of a strict examination 
which might place them in a more dangerous situation than 
either the bankrupt or his son-in-law. In fact, the creditors 
were a knot, the bankrupt an instrument, and Lysaght a tool. 

Felix quern faciunt aliena pericula cautum. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



391 



FATALITIES OF MARRIAGE. 

In a previous part of this volume I promised my fair readers 
that I would endeavour to select some little anecdotes of tender 
interest, more particularly calculated for their perusal ; and I 
now proceed to redeem that promise, so far as I can. 

Fatality in marriages has been ever a favourite theme with 
young ladies who have promptly determined to resign their 
liberty to a stranger, rather than preserve it with a parent. 1 
am myself no unqualified fatalist ; but have struck out a notion 
of my own on that subject, which is, I believe, different from all 
others ; and when I venture to broach it in conversation, I am 
generally assured by the most didactic of the company, that (so 
far as it is comprehensible) it excludes both sense and morality. 
Nevertheless it is, like my faith in supernaturals, a grounded 
and honest opinion ; and in all matters connected with such 
shadowy things as spirits, fates, chances, etc., a man is surely 
warranted in forming his own theories — a species of construc- 
tion, at any rate, equally harmless and rational with that castle- 
building in the air so prevalent among his wiser acquaintances. 

It is not my intention here to plunge deep into my tenets. 
I only mean indeed to touch on them so far as they bear upon 
matrimony ; and may the glance induce fair damsels, when first 
nourishing a tender passion, to consider in time what may be 
fated as the consequences of their free-agency ! 

The matrimonial ladder (if I may be allowed such a simile) 
has generally eight steps, viz. — 1. Attentions ; 2. Flirtation ; 3. 
Courtship ; 4. Breaking the ice ; 5. Popping the question ; 6. 
The negotiation ; 7. The ceremony • 8. The repentance. 

The grand basis of my doctrine is, that free-agency and pre- 
destination are neither (as commonly held) inconsistent nor in- 



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compatible ; but, on the contrary, intimately connected, and 
generally copartners in producing human events. Every im- 
portant occurrence in the life of man or woman (and matrimony 
is no bagatelle) partakes of the nature of both. Great events 
may ever be traced to trivial causes, or to voluntary actions ; 
and that which is voluntary cannot, it should seem, be predes- 
tined ; but when these acts of free-will are once performed, they 
lead irresistibly to ulterior things. Our free-agency then be- 
comes expended, our spontaneous actions cannot be retraced, 
and then, and not before, the march of fate commences. 

The medical doctrine of remote and proximate causes of 
disease in the human body is not altogether inappropriate to my 
dogma, since disorders which are predestined to send ladies and 
gentlemen on their travels to the other world, entirely against 
their inclinations, may frequently be traced to acts which were 
as entirely within their own option. 

I have already professed my intention of going but superfi- 
cially into this subject just now ; and though I could find it in 
my heart considerably to prolong the inquiry, I will only give 
one or two marked illustrations of my doctrine, merely to set 
casuists conjecturing. There are comparatively few important 
acts of a person's life which may not be avoided. For example, 
if any man chooses voluntarily to take a voyage to Nova 
Scotia, he gives predestination a fair opportunity of drowning 
him at sea, if it think proper ; but if he determines never to go 
into a ship, he may be perfectly certain of his safety in that way. 
Again, if a general chooses to go into a battle, it is his free- 
agency which enables predestination to despatch him there ; 
but if, on the other hand, he keeps clear out of it (as some 
generals do), he may set fatality at defiance on that point, and 
perhaps return with as much glory as many of his comrades had 
acquired by leaving their brains upon the field. Cromwell told his 
soldiers the night before the battle of Worcester (to encourage 
them) that " Every bullet carried its own billet!' " Why then, 
by my sowl," said an Irish recruit, " that's the very rason I'll 
desert before morning ! " Marriage, likewise, is an act of free- 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



393 



agency ; but, as I said before, being once contracted, predestina- 
tion comes into play, often despatching one or other of the 
parties, either by grief, murder, or suicide, who might have been 
safe and sound from all those fatalities, had he or she never 
voluntarily purchased or worn a plain gold ring. 

Of the eight steps attached to the ladder of matrimony al- 
ready specified, seven (all lovers will be pleased to remark) imply 
" free-agency ; " but the latter of these being mounted, progress 
to the eighth is too frequently inevitable. I therefore recommend 
to all candidates for the ascent, thorough deliberation and a 
brief pause at each successive step ; for, according to my way of 
thinking, the knot tied at the seventh interval should be con- 
sidered, in every respect, perfectly indissoluble. 

The principle of these few examples might extend to most of 
the events that chequer our passage through life ; and a little 
unprejudiced reflection seems alone requisite to demonstrate that 
"free-agency" may readily keep fate under her thumb on most 
important occasions. 

I cannot avoid particularising, as to matrimony, an incident 
that came within my knowledge, and related to individuals of 
rank who are still living. The facts are well remembered, 
though they occurred nearly twenty years ago. Exclusive of 
the intrinsic interest of the transaction, it may have some weight 
with my fair readers. 

About the year 1809, a ball, on an extensive scale, was given 
by Lady Harrington in Dublin. Almost every person of ton did 
her the honour of participating in the festivity, and I think the 
Duke of Wellington was present. 

In the evening, I received a note from Sir Charles Ormsby, 

mentioning that Lord G , son of my old friend the Earl of 

L , had just arrived. He was represented as a fine young 

man ; and it was added that (though quite tired) he might be 
prevailed on to attend Lady Barrington's ball, were I to write 
him a note of invitation. Of course I did so with the greatest 
pleasure. The Earl of L and I had been many years inti- 
mate : the late Eight Honourable Isaac Corry was his close 



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friend ; and before his lordship grew too rich, he was my next- 
door neighbour in Harcourt Street. We were, indeed, all three, 
boon companions. 

Lord G arrived at the ball, and a very good-looking 

fellow he certainly was — of about nineteen ; his address corre- 
sponded with his mien, and I was quite taken with him, inde- 
pendently of his being my friend's son. Two very young 

relatives of mine — one my niece, Arabella E , the other my 

daughter (now the Viscomtesse de F ), did the juvenile 

honours of the party. 

Sir Charles Ormsby (who might have been termed a sort of 
half-mounted wit) said to me, rather late, " Did you ever know 

such a foolish boy as G ? Before he had been half-an-hour 

in the room, he protested that ere three months were over, either 

one or other of your girls would be Lady G ; that it was a 

doomed thing ; — though he could not exactly say which would be 
the bride — as he had not seen either from the time they were 
all children together." 

The ball ended about daybreak, and I was obliged imme- 
diately to set off for circuit. I had been engaged as counsel on 
the trial of Mr. Alcock for the murder of Mr. John Colclough, 
as already mentioned. 

I finished my month's circuit at Wexford, where, to my sur- 
prise, I found Lord G . I asked him his business there. He 

said he had been summoned as a witness on the above-mentioned 
trial, which I thought a very strange circumstance, as he could 
have known nothing whatsoever of the transaction. However, 
we travelled together to Dublin in my carriage ; and on the way 
he spoke much of destiny, and of a cottage in County Wicklow, 
with everything " rural." I did not then comprehend the young 
man's drift ; but on my return, I found that his free-agency had 
been put in practice ; and, in fact, very shortly after, Lord 

G was my nephew. Fatality now commenced her dominion ; 

and a most charming gift from fatality had the young nobleman 
received in a partner juvenile, like himself, his equal in birth, 
and possessed of every accomplishment. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



395 



I had not at first been made acquainted with the cause of 

Lord G 's visit to Ireland ; but at length understood, with 

some surprise, that the Earl of L had placed his eldest son 

as an ensign in a marching regiment ordered to the Continent. 
Thus, at the age of nineteen, he found himself in a situation un- 
favourable, as I think, to the fair and proper development of his 
mind and talents — uncongenial with the befitting pursuits for a 
nobleman's heir — and still less adapted to gratify the cravings 
of an ardent intelligent spirit, whose very enthusiasm was calcu- 
lated, under such circumstances, to produce recklessness and 
evil. 

The residue of this novel (for such, in all its details, it may 
fairly be denominated — and one of a most interesting and affect- 
ing cast) would afford ample material for observation : but it is 
too long, too grave, and perhaps too delicate, for investigation 

here. Suffice it to add, that I saw Lord and Lady G , with 

their numerous and lovely family, last summer on the Continent 
— altered less than I should have imagined, from the interval 
that had elapsed. In speaking of his lordship, I am reminded 
of the motto, "Every one has his fault :" — but he has likewise 
great merits, and talent which would have been higher had his 
education been more judicious. My friendship for liim has been 
strong and invariable ; and I think that fate has not yet closed 
the book on his future renown and advancement. 



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A WEDDING IN OLDEN DAYS. 

There are few changes in the manners and customs of society 
in Ireland more observable than those relating to marriage. The 
day has been, within my recollection, when that ceremony was 
conducted altogether differently from the present mode. For- 
merly, no damsel was ashamed, as it were, of being married. 
The celebration was joyous, public, and enlivened by every spe- 
cies of merriment and good cheer. The bride and bridegroom, 
bridesmaids and bridesmen (all dressed and decorated in gay 
and gallant costumes), vied in every effort to promote the plea- 
sure they were themselves participating. When the ceremony 
was completed, by passing round a final and mystical word, 
"Amazement!" — everybody kissed the bride. The company 
then all saluted each other ; cordial congratulations went round, 
the music struck up, and plenty of plum-cake and wine seemed 
to anticipate a christening. The bride for a moment whimpered 
and coloured ; the mamma wept with gratification ; the brides- 
maids flushed with sympathy, and a scene was produced almost 
too brilliant for modern apathy even to gaze at. The substantial 
banquet soon succeeded ; hospitality was all alive ; the bottle 
circulated ; the ball commenced ; the bride led off, to take leave 
of her celibacy ; men's souls were softened ; maidens' hearts 
melted ; Cupid slyly stole in, and I scarce ever saw a joyous 
public wedding whereat he had not nearly expended his quiver 
before three o'clock in the morning. Everything cheerful and 
innocent combined to show the right side of human nature, and 
to increase and perfect human happiness ; a jovial hot supper 
gave respite to the dancers, and time to escort Madam Bride to 
her nuptial-chamber — whither, so long as company were per- 
mitted to do so, we will attend her. The bed-curtains were 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



397 



adorned with festoons of ribbon. The chamber was well lighted ; 
and the bridesmaids having administered to the bride her pre- 
scriptive refreshment of white-wine posset, proceeded to remove 
her left stocking and put it into her trembling hand ; they then 
whispered anew the mystical word before mentioned, and having 
bound a handkerchief over her eyes, to ensure her impartiality, 
all the lovely spinsters surrounded the nuptial couch, each 
anxiously expecting that the next moment would anticipate 
her promotion to the same happy predicament within three hun- 
dred and sixty-five days at the very farthest. The bride then 
tossed the prophetic hosiery at random among her palpitating 
friends, and whichever damsel was so fortunate as to receive the 
blow was declared the next maiden in the room who would 
become devoted to the joys of Hymen ; and every one in com- 
pany — both ladies and gentlemen — afterward saluted the cheek 
of the lucky girl. The ball then recommenced ; the future bride 
led off ; night waned ; — and Phoebus generally peeped again ere 
the company could be brought to separate. Good-humoured 
tricks were also on those happy occasions practised by arch girls 
upon the bridegroom. In short, the pleasantry of our old mar- 
riages in Ireland could not be exceeded. They were always 
performed in the house of the lady's parents, or of some relative. 
It would fill a volume were I to enumerate the various joyful 
and happy incidents I have witnessed at Irish weddings. 

At one of the old class of weddings took place the most 
interesting incident of my early life, as I have already stated. 
The spectacle and events of that union never can be erased from 
my memory, and its details furnish a good outline wherefrom 
those of other marriages of that period, in the same sphere of 
society, may be filled up. 

In those days, so soon as an elder son came of age, the father 
and he united to raise money to pay off all family incumbrances. 
The money certainly was raised, but the incumbrances were so 
lazy, that in general they remained in statu quo. The estates 
were soon clipped at both ends ; the father nibbling at one, the 
son pilfering at the other, and the attorney at both. The rent- 



398 



barrington's personal sketches 



roll became short ; and it was decided that the son must marry 
to " sow his wild-oats," and make another settlement on younger 
children. Money, however, was not always the main object of 
Irish marriages ! — first, because it was not always to be had ; 
and next, because if it was to be had, it would so soon change 
masters that it would be all the same after a year or two. Good 
family, good cheer, and beauty, when they could find it, were the 
chief considerations of a country gentleman, whose blood-relatives, 
root and branch (as is still the case on the Continent), generally 
attended the act of alliance, with all the splendour their tailors, 
milliners, and mantua-makers, could or would supply. 

My eldest brother (the bridegroom on the occasion alluded 
to) was an officer of that once magnificent regiment the Black 
Horse, and fell most vehemently in love with the sister 
of a brother officer, afterward Colonel E— — of Old Court, 
County Wicklow. I have described some beauties here- 
tofore ; but the charms of Alicia E were very different 

from the dazzling loveliness of Myrtle Yates, or the opening 
bloom of Maria Hartpole. She was inferior to either in sym- 
metry, but in interest had an infinite superiority over both. 
Alicia was just eighteen ; she had no regular feature ; her 
mouth was disproportionately large ; her lips were coral ; her 
eyes destitute of fire — but they were captivating tell-tales ; her 
figure was rather below the middle height, but without an angle ; 
and the round, graceful delicacy of her limbs could not be sur- 
passed. It was, however, the unrivalled clearness of her pel- 
lucid skin that gave a splendour and indescribable charm to the 
contour of Alicia's animated face. I may be considered as exag- 
gerating when I declare that her countenance appeared nearly 
transparent, and her hands were more clear than may well be 
imagined. Her address was still more engaging than her per- 
son. 

Such was the individual to whom my nut-brown and un- 
adorned D W was selected as bridesmaid. My brother 

was gentlemanly, handsome, and gallant, but wild ; with little 
judgment and a very moderate education. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



399 



It being determined that the wedding should be upon a 
public and splendid scale, both families prepared to act fully up 
to that resolution. The proper trades-people were set to work ; 
ribbon favours were woven on a new plan ; in fact, all Dublin 
heard of the preparations from the busy milliners, etc. ; and on 
the happy day a crowd of neighbours collected about my father's 
house in Clare Street to see the cavalcade, which was to proceed 
to Old Court House, near the Dargle, where the ceremony was 
to be performed. 

The dress of those days on such occasions was generally 
splendid, but our garments " out-Heroded Herod." The bride- 
groom, cased in white cloth with silver tissue, belaced and 
bespangled, glittered like an eastern caliph. My mother, a 
woman of high blood and breeding, and just pride, was clad in 
what was called a manteau of silvered satin. AVhen standing 
direct before the lights she shone out as the reflector of a lamp ; 
and as she moved majestically about the room, and curtseyed 
d la Madame Pompadour, the rustling of her embroidered habit 
sounded like music appropriate to the flow of compliments that 
enveloped her. My father, one of the handsomest men of his 
day, was much more plainly dressed than any of us. 

The gilded coach of ceremony (which I noticed in an early 
sketch) was put in requisition ; and its four blacks — Bully, 
Blackbird, the Colt, and Stopford (fourteen years of age) — were 
all as sleek and smooth as if cut out of ebony. Tom White 
and Keeran Karry, postilions, with big Nicholas, the footman, 
sported appropriate costumes ; and the whole was led by 
Mr. Mahony, the butler, mounted on Brown Jack, my father's 
hunter. 

The cavalcade started off at a hand-gallop for Bray, accom- 
panied by the benediction of old Sarah, the cook, and Judy 
Berger, the hereditary housekeeper, who stood praying mean- 
while, and crossing their foreheads, at the door. An old 
travelling chaise, of no very prepossessing appearance, which had 
been rescued from the cocks and hens in the country out-house, 
with a pair of hacks, was driven by Matthew Querns, the hunts- 



400 



barrington's personal sketches 



man, and contained the residue of the party — namely, my two 
other brethren and self. 

The more particular description of our attire may strike 
certain moderns as somewhat ridiculous ; but that attire was in 
the gout of the day, and covered as good proportions as those of 
the new gentry who may deride it. The men wore no stays — ■ 
the ladies covered their shoulders ; and the first were to the full 
as brave, and the latter at least as modest, as their successors. 
Our wedding suits were literally thus composed : — The blue satin 
vests and inexpressibles were well laced and spangled wherever 
there was any room for ornament. The coats were of white 
cloth, with blue capes. Four large paste curls, white as snow 
with true rice-powder, and scented strong with real bergamot, 
adorned our heads. My third brother, Wheeler Barrington, had 
a coat of scarlet cloth, because he was intended for the army. 

In truth, greater luminaries never attended a marriage fes- 
tivity. Our equipage, however, by no means corresponded with 
our personal splendour and attractions, and I thought the con- 
trast would be too ridiculous to any observing spectator who 
might know the family. I therefore desired Matthew to take a 
short turn from the great rock-road, to avoid notice as much as 
possible ; which caution being given, we crowded into the 
tattered vehicle, and trotted away as swiftly as one blind and 
one lame horse could draw such magnificoes. There were, and 
are, on the circular road by which I had desired Matthew 
Querns to drive us, some of those nuisances called turnpikes. 
When we had passed the second gate, the gatekeeper, who had 
been placed there recently, of course demanded his toll. " Pay 
him, French," said I to my brother. " Faith," said French, " I 
changed my clothes, and I happen to have no money in my 
pocket." " ~No matter," answered I ; " Wheeler, give the fellow 
a shilling." " I have not a rap," said Wheeler ; " I lost every 
halfpenny I had yesterday at the royal cockpit in Essex Street." 

By a sort of instinct I put my hand into my own pocket ; 
but instinct is not money, and reality quickly informed me that 
I was exactly in the same situation. However, " No matter," 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



401 



again said I ; so I desired old Matthew Querns to pay the turn- 
pike. "Is it me pay the pike?" said Matthew — "me? the 
devil a cross of wages I got from the master this many a day ; 
and if I did, do you think, Master Jonah, the liquor would not 
be after having it out of me by this time ? " and he then 
attempted to drive on, without paying, as he used to do at 
Cullenaghmore. The man however grappled the blind horse, 
and gave us a full quantum of abuse, in which his wife, who 
issued forth at the sound, vociferously joined. Matthew began 
to whack him and the horses alternately with his thong whip ; 
my brother French struggled to get out, and beat the pike-man ; 
but the door would not open readily, and I told him that if he 
beat the turnpike-man properly, he'd probably bleed a few him- 
self ; and that a single drop of blood on Ins fine clothes would 
effectually exclude him from society. This reasoning succeeded ; 
but the blind horse, not perceiving what was the matter, sup- 
posed something worse had happened, and began to plunge and 
break the harness. " You d — d gilt vagabonds," said the turn- 
pike man, " such fellows should be put into the stocks or ducked 
at the broad stone beyond Kibnainham. Oh ! I know you well 
enough ! (looking into the carriage-window) — what are yees but 
stage-players that have run away from Smock Alley, and want 
to impose upon the country-folk ! But I'll neither let yees 

back or forward, by , till you pay me a hog for the pike, 

and two and eightpence-halfpenny for every wallop of the whip 
that the old green mummer there gave me, when I only wanted 
my honest dues." 

I saw fighting was in vain ; but courtesy can do anything 
with an Irishman. " My honest friend," said I (to soften him), 
" you're right ; we are poor stage-players sure enough : we have 
got a loan of the clothes from Mr. Ryder — may Heaven bless 
him ! and we're hired out to play a farce for a great wedding 
that's to be performed at Bray to-night. When we come back 
with our money we'll pay you true and fair, and drink with 
you till you're stiff, if you think proper." 

On tins civil address the pike -man looked very kind. 

VOL. II. 2 D 



402 



barrington's personal sketches 



" Why, then, by my sowl it's true enough," said he, " ye can't 
be very rich till ye get your entrance-money ; but sure I won't 
be out of pocket for all that. Well, faith and troth, ye look 
like decent stage-players ; and I'll tell you what, I like good 
music, so I do. Give me a new song or two, and d — mme but 
I'll let you off, you poor craturs, till you come back agin. 
Come, give us a chaunt, and I'll help you to mend the har- 
ness too ! " 

" Thank you, sir," said I humbly. " I can't sing," said my 
brother Trench, "unless I'm drunk!" "Nor I, drunk or 
sober," said Wheeler. " You must sing for the pike," said I to 
French ; and at length he set up his pipes to a favourite song, 
often heard among the half-mounted gentlemen in the country 
when they were drinking ; and as I shall never forget any 
incident of that (to me) eventful day, and the ditty is quite 
characteristic both of the nation generally and the half-mounted 
gentlemen in particular (with whom it was a sort of charter- 
song), I shall give it. 

D- — n money — it's nothing but trash : 

We're happy though ever so poor ! 

When we have it we cut a great dash, 

When it's gone, we ne'er think of it more. 

Then, let us be wealthy or not. 

Our spirits are always the same ; 

We're free from every dull thought, 

And the " Boys of old Ireland's " our name ! 

I never saw a poor fellow so pleased as the pike-man ; the 
words hit his fancy : he shook us all round, most heartily, by 
the hand, and, running into his lodge, brought out a pewter pot 
of frothing beer, which he had just got for himself, and insisted 
on each of us taking a drink. We of course complied. He 
gave Matthew a drink too, and desired him not to be so handy 
with his whip to other pike-men, or they'd justice him at Kil- 
mainham. He then helped up our traces ; and Matthew mean- 
while, who, having had the last draught, had left the pot no 
further means of exercising its hospitality — enlivened by the 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



403 



liquor and encouraged by the good-nature of the pike-man and 
his pardon for the walloping — thought the least he could do in 
gratitude was to give the honest man a sample of his own 
music, vocal and instrumental : so, taking his hunting horn 
from under his coat (he never went a yard without it) and 
sounding his best " Death of Reynard," he sang a stave which 
was then the charter-song of li is rank, and which he roared away 
with all the graces of a view holloa. 

Ho ! ro ! the sup of good drink ! 
And it's ho ! to ! the heart wou'dn't think ! 
Oh ! had I a shilling lapp'd up in a clout, 
'Tis a sup of good drink that should wheedle it out. 

And it's ho ! ro ! etc. etc. 

The man of the pike was delighted. " Why, then, by my 
sowl, you ould mummer," said he, " it's a pity the likes of you 
should want a hog. Arrah ! here (handing him a shilling), 
maybe your whistle would run dry on the road, and you'll pay 
me when you come back, won't you ? Now, all's settled, off 
wid yees ! Success ! success !" And away we went, as fast as 
the halt and blind could convey us. 

AVe arrived safe and in high glee, just as the prayer-book 
was getting ready for the ceremony. I apologised for our appa- 
rent delay by telling the whole story in my own manner. 

D W seemed wonderfully amused. I caught her eye : 

it was not like Desdemona's ; but she told me afterward that my 
odd mode of relating that adventure first made her remark me 
as a singularity. She was so witty on it herself, that she was 
the cause of wit in me. She was indefatigable at sallies — I not 
idle at repartee ; and we both amused ourselves and entertained 
the company. 

I sat next to D — ■— W at dinner, danced with her at the* 

ball, pledged her at supper, and before two o'clock in the morn- 
ing my heart had entirely deserted its master. 

I will here state, by way of episode, that great difficulties 
and delays, both of law and equity, had postponed the matri- 
monial connection of my brother, Major Barrington (he bore 



404 barrington's personal sketches 

that rank in the old volunteers), for a considerable time. There 
was not money enough afloat to settle family incumbrances, and 
keep the younger children from starving. A temporary sus- 
pension was of course put to the courtship. My brother in 
consequence grew nearly outrageous, and swore to me that he 
had not slept a wink for three nights, considering what species 
of death he should put himself to. Strong and young (though 
tolerably susceptible myself), my heart was at that time my 
own, and I could not help laughing at the extravagance of his 
passion. I tried to ridicule him out of it, " Heavens I" said I, 
" J ack, how can you be at a loss on that score ? You know I 
am pretty sure that, by your intended suicide, I shall get a step 
nearer Cullenaghmore. Therefore, I will remind you that there 
are a hundred very genteel ways by which you" may despatch 
yourself without either delay or expense. 

He looked at me quite wildly. In fact he was distractedly 
in love. Alicia was eternally on his lips, and I really believe, if 
his head had been cut off, like the man's in Alonza de Cordova, 
it would have continued pronouncing " Alicia," till every drop 
of blood was clean out of it. Eeasoning with a mad lover is in 
vain, so I still pursued ridicule. " See," said I, " that marble 
chimney-piece at the end of the room. Suppose, now, you run 
head-foremost against it, in all human probability you'll knock 
your brains out in a novel, and not at all in a vulgar way." 

I spoke in jest, but found my hearer jested not. Before I 
could utter another word he bent his head forward, and with 
might and main rushed plump at the chimney-piece, which he 
came against with a crash that I had no doubt must have finished 
him completely. He fell back and lay without a struggle ; the 
blood gushed, and I stood petrified. The moment I was able I 
darted out of the room, and calling for aid, his servant Neil came. 
I told him that his master was dead. 

" Dead ! " said Neil ; " by he is, and clouhle dead too ! 

Ah ! then, who kilt the major?" 

He took him up in his arms, and laid him on a sofa. My 
brother, however, soon gave Neil the "retort courteous." He 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



4U5 



opened his eyes, groaned, and appeared anything but dying. My 
fright ceased. He had been only stunned and his head cut, but 
his brains were safe in their case. He had luckily come in con- 
tact with the flat part of the marble ; had he hit the moulding, 
he would have ended his love and misfortunes together, and 
given me, as I had said, a step toward Cullenaghmore. The 
cut on his head was not material, and in a few days he was 
tolerably well again. This story, however, was not to be divulged. 
It was determined that it should remain with us a great secret. 
Neil, his servant, we swore on a Bible not to say a word about 
it to anybody ; but the honest man must have practised some 
mental reservation, as he happened just only to hint it to his 
sweetheart, Mary Donnellan, my mother's maid, and she, in a 
tender moment, told the postilion Keeran, for whom she had a 
regard. Keeran never kept a secret in all his life, so he told the 
dairymaid, Molly Coyle, whom he preferred to Mary Donnellan, 
and the dairymaid told my father, who frequented the dairy, and 
delighted to see Molly Coyle a-churning. The thing at length 
became quite public, and my brother, to avoid raillery, set off to 
his regiment at Philipstown, whither I accompanied him. He 
still raved about taking the first favourable opportunity of put- 
ting himself to death, if the courtship were much longer sus- 
pended ; and spoke of gallantly throwing himself off his charger 
at full gallop, previously fastening his foot in the stirrup. The 
being dragged head downwards over a few heaps of paving- 
stones would certainly have answered his deadly purpose well 
enough ; but I dissuaded him without much difficulty from that 
species of self-murder, by assuring him that everybody, in such 
a case, would attribute his death to bad horsemanship, which 
would remain, on the records of the regiment, an eternal disgrace 
to his professional character. Many other projects he thought 
of ; but I must here make one remark, which perhaps may be a 
good one in general — namely, that every one of these projects 
happened to originate after dinner — a period when Irishmen's 
chivalric fancies are at their most enthusiastic and visionary 
height. 



406 



barrington's personal sketches 



At length a happy letter reached the major, signifying that 
all parties had agreed, and that his Alicia, heart and hand, was 
to be given np to him for life, as his own private and exclusive 
property — " to have and to hold, for better for worse," etc. etc. 
This announcement rendered him almost as wild as his despair 
had done previously. When he received the letter, he leaped 
down a flight of stairs at one spring, and in five minutes ordered 
his charger to be saddled for himself ; his hunter, " Mad Tom," 
for me ; and his chestnut, " Eainbow," for Neil. In ten minutes 
we were all mounted and in full gallop toward Dublin, which he 
had determined to reach that night after one short stoppage at 
Kildare, where we arrived, without slackening rein, in as short 
a time as if we had rode a race. The horses were fed well, and 
drenched with hot ale and brandy ; but as none of them were in 
love, I perceived that they would willingly have deferred the 
residue of the journey till the ensuing morning. Indeed, my 
brother's steed, conceiving that charges of such rapidity and 
length were not at all military, unless in running away, deter- 
mined practically to convince his master that such was his notion. 
We passed over the famous race-ground of the Curragh in good 
style ; but, as my brother had not given his horse time to lie 
down gently and rest himself in the ordinary way, the animal 
had no choice but to perform the feat of lying down whilst in 
full gallop — which he did very expertly just at the Curragh 
stand-house. The only mischief occurring herefrom was, that 
the drowsy charger stripped the skin, like rags, completely off 
both his knees, scalped tlie top of his head, got a hurt in the 
back-sinews, and, no doubt without intending it, broke both my 
brother's collar-bones. When we came up (who were a few 
hundred yards behind him), both man and beast were lying very 
quietly, as if asleep^— my brother about five or six yards before 
the horse, who had cleverly thrown his rider far beyond the 
chance of being tumbled over by himself. The result was, as 
usual on similar occasions, that the horse was led limping and 
looking foolish to the first stable, and committed to all the far- 
riers and grooms in the neighbourhood. My brother was carried 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



407 



flat on a door to the nearest alehouse ; and doctors being sent 
for, three (with bags of instruments) arrived from different places 
before night, and after a good deal of searching and fumbling 
about his person, one of them discovered that both collar-bones 
were smashed as aforesaid, and that if either of the broken bones, 
or splinters thereof, turned inward by his stirring, it might run 
through the lobes of his lungs, and very suddenly end all hopes 
of ever completing his journey : his nose had likewise taken a 
different turn from that it had presented when he set out : — and 
the palms of his hands fully proved that they could do without 
any skin, and with a very moderate quantity of flesh. 

However, the bones were well arranged, a pillow strapped 
under each arm, and another at his shoulder-blades. All neces- 
sary comforts were procured, as well as furniture from Mr. 
Hamilton, whose house was near. I did not hear a word that 
night about Alicia ; but in due time the major began to recover 
once more, and resumed his love, which had, pro tempore, been 
literally knocked out of him. It was announced by the doctor 
that it would be a long time before he could* use his hands 
or arms, and that removal or exercise might produce a new frac- 
ture, and send a splinter or bone through any part of his interior 
that might be most handy. 

Though I thought the blood he had lost, and the tortures the 
doctor put him to, had rendered his mind a good deal tamer than 
it was at Maryborough, he still talked much of Alicia, and pro- 
posed that I should write to her, on his part, an account of his 
misfortunes ; and the doctor in attendance allowing him the 
slight exertion of signing his name and address in his own hand- 
writing, I undertook to execute my task to the utmost of my 
skill, and certainly performed it with great success. I com- 
menced with due warmth, and stated that the " accident he had 
met with only retarded the happiness he should have in making 
her his wife, which he had so long burned for, but which circum- 
stances till then had prevented," etc. etc. The words I recollect 
pretty well, because they afterward afforded me infinite amuse- 
ment. The letter was sealed with the family arms and crest. 



408 



barrington's personal sketches 



" Now, Jonah/' said my brother, " before I marry I have a 
matter of some importance to arrange, lest it should come to the 
ears of my Alicia, which would be my ruin ; and I must get you 
to see it settled for me at Philipstown, so as to prevent anything 
exploding." He went on to give me the particulars of a certain 
liaison he had formed with a young woman there, an exciseman's 
daughter, which he was now, as may be supposed, desirous of 
breaking ; and, though protesting that interference in such mat- 
ters was not at all to my taste, I consented to write, at his dic- 
tation, a sort of compromise to the party, which he having signed, 
both epistles were directed at the same time, and committed to 
the post-office of Kilcullen bridge. 

The amorous and fractured invalid was now rapidly advanc- 
ing to a state of convalescence. His nose had been renovated 
with but an inconsiderable partiality for the left cheek ; his 
collar-bones had approximated to a state of adhesion ; and he 
began impatiently to count the days and nights that would 
metamorphose his Alicia from a spinster to a matron. 

The extravagance of his naming love amused me extremely : 
his aerial castles were built, altered, and demolished with all the 
skill and rapidity of modern architecture ; while years of ex- 
quisite and unalloyed felicity arose before his fancy, of which 
they took an immovable grasp. 

We were busily engaged one morning in planning and ar- 
ranging his intended establishment, on returning to the sports 
and freaks of a country gentleman, with the addition of a ter- 
restrial angel to do the honours, when, on a sudden, we heard 
rather a rough noise at the entrance of the little chamber wherein 
the invalid was still reclining upon a feather-bed, with a pillow 
under each arm to keep the bones in due position. Our old fat 
landlady, who was extremely partial to the cornet,* burst in 
with her back towards us, endeavouring to prevent the entrance 
of a stranger, who, however, without the least ceremony, giving 
her a hearty curse, dashed into the centre of the room in a state 
of bloated rage scarcely conceivable — which was more extra- 

* My brother's actual rank in the army. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



409 



ordinary, as the individual appeared to be no other than Captain 
Tennyson Edwards of the 30th regiment, third brother of the 
beloved Alicia. Of course we both rose to welcome him most 
heartily : this, however, he gave us no opportunity of doing ; but 
laying down a small mahogany case which he carried in his 
hand, and putting his arms akimbo, he loudly exclaimed, without 
any exordium, "Why, then, Cornet Jack Barrington, are you 
not the greatest scoundrel that ever disgraced civilised society?" 

This query of course was not answered in the affirmative by 
either of us ; and a scene of astonishment on the one side and 
increasing passion on the other, baffled all commonplace descrip- 
tion : I must therefore refer it to the imagination of my readers. 
The retort courteous was over and over reiterated on both sides 
without the slightest attempt at any tdaircisscmcnt. 

At length the captain opened his mahogany case, and ex- 
hibited therein a pair of what he called his " barking-irons," 
bright and glittering as if both able and willing to commit most 
expurtly any murder or murders they might be employed in. 

" You scoundrel ! " vociferated the captain to the cornet, 
P only that your bones were smashed by your horse, I woidd not 
leave a whole one this day in your body. But I suppose your 
brother here will have no objection to exchange shots for you, 
and not keep me waiting till you are well enough to be stiffened ! 
Have you any objection (turning to me) 'to take a crack V " 

" A very considerable objection," answered I ; " first, because 
I never fight without knowing why ; and secondly, because my 
brother is not in the habit of fighting by proxy." 

" Xot know why ? " roared the captain. " There, read that ! 
Oh ! I wish you were hale and whole, cornet, that I might have 
the pleasure of a crack with you /" 

I lost no time in reading the letter, and at once perceived 
that my unlucky relative had, in the flurry of his love, mis- 
directed each of the two epistles just now spoken of, and con- 
sequently informed " the divine Alicia " that he could hold no 
further intercourse with her, etc. 

A fit of convulsive laughter involuntarily seized me, which 



410 



b Arlington's personal sketches 



nothing could restrain ; and the captain meanwhile, nearly 
bursting with rage, reinvitecl me to be shot at. My brother 
stood all the time like a ghost, in more pain, and almost in as 
great a passion, as our visitor. He was unable to articulate ; 
and the pillows fixed under each arm rendered him one of the 
most grotesque figures that a painter could fancy. 

When I recovered the power of speaking, which was not 
speedily, I desired Tennyson to follow me to another room. He 
took up his pistol-case, and expecting I was about to indulge 
him with a crack or two, seemed somewhat easier in mind and 
temper. I at once explained to him the curious mistake, and 
without the least hesitation the captain burst into a much 
stronger paroxysm of laughter than I had just escaped from. 
Never did any officer in the king's service enjoy a victory more 
than Captain Edwards did this strange blunder. It was quite to 
his taste, and on our proposing to make the invalid as happy as 
exhaustion and fractures would admit of, a new scene, equally 
unexpected, but of more serious consequences, turned up. 

A ruddy, active, and handsome country girl came to the door, 
and sprang with rapidity from a pillion on which she had been 
riding behind a good-looking rustic lacl. Our landlady greeted 
her neAV customer with her usual urbanity. " You're welcome 
to these parts, miss," said Mrs. Mahony ; " you stop to-night — 
to be sure you do. What do you choose, miss ? Clean out the 
settle-bed parlour. The chickens and rashers, miss, are capital, 
so they are. Gassoon, do run and howld the lady's beast ; go, 
avourneen, carry him in and wipe him well — do you hear ? and 
throw a wisp of hay before the poor brute. You rode hard, miss, 
so you did ! " 

" Oh ! where's the cornet ? " cried the impatient maiden, 
totally disregarding Mrs. Mahony ; for it was Jenny her- 
self, who had come speedily from Philipstown to forestall the 
happy moments which my bewildered brother had, in his letter 
to his Alicia, so delightfully anticipated. Nothing could restrain 
her impatience ; she burst into the little parlour full on the 
astounded invalid, who was still standing bolt upright, like a 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



411 



statue, in the very position wherein we had left him. His loving 
Jenny, however, unconscious that his collar-bones had been dis- 
united, rushed into his arms with furious affection. " Oh, my 
dearest Jack ! " cried she, " we never part no more ! no, never, 
never ! " and tight, indeed, was the embrace wherewith the 
happy Jenny now encircled the astonished cornet ; but, alas ! 
down came one of the pillows ! the arm, of course, closed ; and 
one-half of the left collar-bone being as ignorant as its owner of 
the cause of so obstreperous an embrace, and, wishing as it were 
to see what matter was going forward in the world, instantly 
divorced itself from the other half, and thrusting its ivory end 
through the flesh, skin, and integuments, which had obstructed 
its egress, quickly appeared peeping through the lover's shirt. 

The unfortunate inamorato could stand these accumulated 
shucks no longer, and sank upon the feather-bed in a state of 
equal astonishment and exhaustion, groaning piteously. 

Here I must again apply t« > the imagination of my reader for 
a true picture of the succeeding scene. Fielding alone could 
render a detail palatable ; the surgeons were once more sent for 
to reset the collar ; an energetic kiss, which his Jenny had im- 
printed on the cornet's nose, again somewhat disturbed its new 
position, and conferred a pain so acute, as to excite exclamations, 
by no means gentle in their nature, from the unresisting sufferer. 

Suffice it to say. Jenny was with much difficulty at length 
forced away from her Jack, if not in a dead faint, at least in 
something extremely like one. An eelaireissement took place so 
soon as she came round ; and the compromise, before hinted at, 
was ultimately effected. 

Edwards asked a hundred pardons of my poor brother, who, 
worn out, and in extreme pain, declared he would as soon die as 
live. In fine, it was nearly a month more ere the cornet could 
travel to Dublin, and another before he was well enough to 
throw hiinself at the feet of his dulcinea ; which ceremony 
was in due season succeeded by the wedding* I have already 

* Irish marriages ran, some few years ago. an awkward risk of being nullified 
en masse, by the decision of two English judges. In 1S26 I met, at Boulogne- 



412 



barrington's personal sketches 



given my account of, and which left me much more unaccount- 
ably smitten than my more fiery brother. 

Captain Tennyson Edwards subsequently ran away with the 
kind-hearted Jenny, and in three or four years after married 
one of the prettiest of my six sisters. He was one of the 
drollest fellows in the world on some occasions, and had once 
nearly ended his days similarly, though more vulgarly, to the 
traditional catastrophe of the Duke of Clarence in the Tower. 

sur-Mer, a young Hibernian nobleman, the eldest son of an Irish peer, who had 
arrived there in great haste from Paris, and expressed considerable, though some- 
what ludicrous, trepidation on account of a rumour that had reached him of his 
being illegitimatised. In fact, the same dread seized upon almost all the Irish of 
any family there. 

" I have no time to lose," said Lord , " for the packet is just setting off, 

and I must go and inquire into these matters. By Heaven," added he, "I won't 
leave one of the judges alive, if they take my property and title ! I am fit for 
nothing else — you know I am not ; and I may as well be hanged as beggared ! " 

Scarce had his lordship, from whom I could obtain no explanation, departed, 
when another scion of Irish nobility — the Honourable John Leeson, son to the 
late Earl of Miltown — joined me on the pier. " Barrington, have you seen to- 
day's papers?" asked he. 

"No," I answered. 

" Where was your father married ?" 

"In my grandfather's house," replied I, with some surprise. 

"Then, by Jove," exclaimed Leeson, "you are an illegitimate, and so am I ! 
My father was married at home, at eight o'clock in the evening, and that's fatal. 
A general outcry has taken place among all the Irish at the reading-room." 

He then proceeded to inform me of the real cause of the consternation, and it 
was no trivial one. Two very able and honest English judges (Bayley and Park), 
on trying a woman for bigamy, had decided that, according to the English law, a 
marriage in a private house, without special license or in canonical hours, was 
void ; and, of course, the woman was acquitted, having been united to her first 
husband in Ireland without those requisites. Had that decision stood, it would 
certainly have rendered ninety-nine out of a hundred of the Irish Protestants, 
men, women, and children — nobility, clergy, and gentry — absolutely illegitimate. 
It was a very droll mistake of the learned judges ; but was on the merciful side of 
the question before them, was soon amended, and no mischief whatsoever resulted 
from it ; though it was said that a great number of husbands and wives were 
extremely disappointed at the judges altering their decision. I seldom saw any 
couple married in Church in Ireland ; and in former times the ceremony was 
generally performed between dinner and supper, when people are supposed to be 
vastly more in love with each other than in the middle of the day. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



413 



He persuaded a very comely dairymaid, at Old Court, that if 
she would not abscond with him, he should end his life in 
despair, and she would, in the eye of Heaven, be guilty of his 
murder; and, to convince her of his fixed determination to 
commit suicide for love of her, he put his head into a very high 
churn of butter-milk, which was standing in the dairy — when, 
the floor being slippery, his feet gave way, and he pounced 
down, head-foremost and feet upward, clean into the churn ; and 
had not the gardener been at hand on the instant, he would 
have expired by the most novel mode of extermination on 
record. 



414 



barrington's personal sketches 



THE LAST OF THE GERALDINES. 

In the early part of my life the system of domestic government 
and family organisation Was totally different from that at present 
in vogue. The patriarchal authority was then frequently exer- 
cised with a rigour which, in days of degenerate relaxation, has 
been converted into a fruitful subject for even dramatic ridicule. 
In Ireland the " rule of the patriarchs" has become nearly extin- 
guished. New lights have shone upon the rising generation ; 
the " rights of women" have become a statute law of society ; 
and the old wholesome word obedience, by which all wives and 
children were formerly influenced, has been reversed, by pre- 
facing it with the monosyllable dis. 

" Everybody is acquainted," said an intimate friend of mine 
to his wife in my presence, " with the ruinous state of obstinacy 
and contradiction raging in modern times among the subordinate 
members of families throughout the United Kingdom ; as if the 
word united were applied to the empire only to satirise the dis- 
united habits, manners, politics, religion, and morality of its 
population. There are," continued he, " certain functions that 
must be exercised every day (two or three times a-day if possible) 
by persons of all descriptions, who do not wish to leave this 
world within a week at the very latest ; but, unless on the abso- 
lute necessity of mastication for purposes of self-support, I am 
not aware of any other subject respecting which unanimity of 
opinion is even affected among the individuals of any family 
throughout the country." 

The wife nodded assent, but spake not ; first, because she 
hated all controversy ; and second, because though, on the sub- 
ject of domestic supremacy, she was always sure of getting the 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



415 



worst of the argument, she contented herself with having, beyond 
doubt, the best of the practice. * 

My friend's observations were, I think, just. In my time the 
change has been excessive ; and to enable my readers to form a 
better judgment of the matter, I will lay before them a few 
authentic anecdotes of rather antique dates. 

In vol. i. I mentioned the illustrious exploits of my great- 
aunt, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, of Moret Castle, and the heroic firm- 
ness wherewith she bore the afflicting view of my great-uncle 
Stephen, her husband, "dancing upon nothing" (as the Irish 
phrase it) at the castle-gate, immediately under the battlements ; 
and though it is possible there may exist some modern ladies who 
might have sufficient self-possession to look on a similar object 
without evincing those signs of inconsolability natural to be 
expected on such an occasion, yet I will venture to say few are 
to be foimd who, like my aunt Elizabeth, would risk their lives 
and property rather than accept of a second husband. Xor do I 
believe that, since the patriarchal government has been revolu- 
tionised by the unnatural rebellion of wives and children, there 
has existed one lady — young, old, or middle-aged — in the three 
kingdoms, who could be persuaded to imitate the virtuous 
Gentoos, and voluntarily undergo conflagration with her departed 
lord and master. 

My great-uncle had a son borne unto him by his magnanimous 
spouse, who was very young and in the castle at the time his 
father was corded [Hi. herd ice). Elizabeth led him to the castle- 
top, and showing him his dangling parent, cried, " See there ! 

* Mrs. Mary Morton of Ballyroan, a very worthy domestic -woman, told me 
many years since that she had but one way of ruling her husband, which, as it is 
rather a novel way, and may be of some use to my fair readers, I will mention in 
her own words. 

'•You know," said Mrs. Morton, "that Tom is most horribly nice in his 
eating, and fancies that both abimdant and good food is essential to his health. 
Hour, when he has been out of temper with me, he is sure of having a very bad 
dinner ; if he grumbles, I tell him that whenever he puts me into a twitter by his 
tantrums, I always /o/*^ to give the cook proper directions. This is sure," added 
she, " of keeping him in good humour for a week at least ! " 



416 



baeeington's peesonal sketches 



you were born a Geraldine ; the blood of that noble race is in 
you, my boy ! See — see the sufferings of your own father ! 
Never did a true Geraldine forgive an enemy ! I perceive your 
little face gets flushed ; you tremble ; ay, ay, 'tis for revenge ! 
Shall a Cahill live ?" 

" No, mother, no! when I'm able, I'll kill them all! I'll kill 
all the Cahills myself!" cried the lad, worked on by the fury of 
his respectable mother. 

" That's my dear boy !" said Elizabeth, kissing him fervently. 
" Shall one live?" 

" No, mother, not one," replied the youngster. 

" Man, woman, or child ?" pursued the heroine. 

" Neither man, woman, nor child," echoed her precocious 

son. 

" You are a Geraldine," repeated Elizabeth. " Call the 
priest," added she, turning to a warder. 

" He made a little too free, my lady mistress," said the war- 
der, " and is not very fitting for duty, saving your presence ; but 
he'll soon sleep it off." 

" Bring him up, nevertheless," cried Elizabeth ; " I command 
you to bring up his reverence." 

The priest was accordingly produced by Keeran Karry. 
"Father," said the lady, " where's your manual ?" 

" "Where should it be," answered the priest (rather sobered), 
" but where it always is, lady ?" pulling, as he spake, a book out 
of a pocket in the waistband of his breeches, where (diminished 
and under the name of a fob) more modern clergymen carry their 
watches. 

" Now, your reverence," said Elizabeth, " we'll swear the 
young squire to revenge my poor Stephen, his father, on the 
Cahills, root and branch, as soon as he comes to manhood. 
Swear him ! — swear him thrice /" exclaimed she. 

The boy was duly sworn, and the manual reposited in the 
priest's smallclothes. 

" Now, take the boy down and duck him, head over heels, 
in the horse-pond ! " cried his mother. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



417 



Young Fitzgerald roared lustily, but was nevertheless well 
soused, to make Mm remember his oath the better. This oath 
he repeated upon the same spot, while his mother lived, on 
every anniversary of his father's murder ; and it was said by 
the old tenants that "young Stephen," though nourishing in 
more civilised times, religiously kept the vow as far as he 
could ; and that, so soon as he came into possession of Moret, 
four of the ablest of the Cahills (by way of a beginning) were 
missed from the neighbourhood of Timahoe in one night, nobody 
ever discovering what had become of them, — indeed, the fewest 
words were considered far the safest. 

The skeletons of four lusty fellows, however, were afterwards 
found in clearing out a pit in the Donane Colliery, and many 
persons said they had belonged to the four Cahills from Timahoe ; 
but, as the colliers very sapiently observed, there being no 
particular marks whereby to distinguish the bones of a Cahill 
from those of any other " boy," no one could properly identify 
them. 

A bystander, who had been inspecting the relics, protested, 
on hearing this remark made, that he could swear to one of the 
skulls at least (winch appeared to have been fractured and tre- 
panned) ; and he gave a very good reason for this assertion — 
namely, that it was himself who had " cracked the skull of Xed 
Cahill at the fair of Dysart, with a walloper, and he knew the 
said skull ever after. It was between jest and earnest," con- 
tinued Jemmy Corcoran, " that I broke his head — all about a 
game-cock, and be d — d to it ! and by the same token, I stood 
by in great grief at Maryborough, while Doctor Stapleton was 
twisting a round piece out of Xed Cahill's skull, and laying a 
tu'O-ancl-eight-penny-halfpenny* (beaten quite thin on the smith's 
forge) over the hole, to cover his brains anyway. The devil a 
brain in his sconce but I could see plainly ; and the said two- 
and-eight-pcnny-ludf penny stayed fast under his wig for many a 
year, till Xed pulled it off (bad luck to it 1) to pay for drink 

* An Irish silver half-crown piece, the difference of English and Irish cur- 
rency. 

vol. n. 2 e 



418 



barrington's personal sketches 



with myself at Timalioe. They said he was ever after a little 
cracked when in his liquor ; and I'm right sorry for having art 
or part in that same fracture, for Ned was a good boy, so he 
was, and nobody would strike him a stroke on the head at any 
rate after the two-and-eight-penny-halfpenny was pledged off his 
skull." 

Though Mr. Jemmy Corcoran was so confident as to the 
skull he had fractured, his testimony was not sufficient legally 
to identify a Cahill, and the four sets of bones being quietly 
buried at Clapook, plenty of masses, etc., were said for an entire 
year by Father Cahill of Stradbally to get their souls clean out 
of purgatory ; that is, if they were in it, which there was not 
a clergy in the place would take on to say he was "sartain 
sure of." * 

This Stephen Fitzgerald- — who had killed the Cahills, sure 
enough, as became the true son and heir of the aforesaid Stephen, 
who was hanged — lived, as report went, plentifully and regu- 
larly at Moret. No better gentleman existed, the old people 
said, in the quiet way, after once he had put the four Cahills 
into the coal-pit, as he promised his worthy mother Elizabeth, 
" the likes of whom Moret never saw before nor since, nor ever 
will while time is time, and longer too !" 

Stephen had one son only, who is the principal subject of 
my present observations ; and as he and his family (two lovely 
boys and two splendid girls) were not exactly the same sort of 

* I recollect (at an interval of more than fifty years) Father Doran of Cul- 
maghbeg, an excellent man, Ml of humour and well informed, putting the soul 
in the most comprehensible state of personification possible. He said the women 
could not understand what the soul was by the old explanations. 

"I tell you all, my flock," said Father Doran, "there's not a man, woman, 
or child among you that has not his soul this present minute shut up in his 
body, waiting for the last judgment, according to his faith and actions. I tell 
you fairly, that if flesh could be seen through, like a glass window, you might 
see every one's soul at the inside of his body peeping out through the ribs like 
the prisoners at the jail of Maryborough through their iron bars ; and the 
moment the breath is out of a man or woman, the soul escapes and makes off to 
be dealt with as it deserves, and that's the truth : so say your beads and remem- 
ber your clergy ! " — (Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



people commonly seen now-a-days, it may not be uninteresting 
to give my readers a picture of them. 

Stephen, the son of Elizabeth, had been persuaded by Mr. 
John Lodge, an attorney of Bull Alley, in the city of Dublin (who 
married a maid-servant of my grandfather's at Cullenagh), that 
the two-mile race-course of the Great Heath in Queen's County, 
which King George pretended was his property because it had 
been formerly taken from a papist Geraldine, now reverted to 
my great-uncle's family, in consequence of their being Pro- 
testants ; and Mr. Lodge added, that if Squire Stephen would 
make his son a counsellor, no doubt he would more aptly trace 
pedigrees, rights, titles, and attainders, aud, in fine, get posses- 
sion of several miles of the Great Heath, or of the race-course 
at any rate. 

The advice was adopted, and Stephen the son was sent to 
the Temple in London to study law ; and while there, was 
poisoned at a cook's shop by the cook's daughter because he 
would not marry her. This poisoning (though it was not fatal), 
he always said, stopped his growth like witchcraft. 

The father died in his bed ; and my uncle, Stephen the 
counsellor, became a double relative from marrying Catherine 
Byrne, daughter of Sir John Byrne, Bart., of Timahoe Castle, and 
sister to my grandmother, heretofore mentioned. After he had 
studied Bracton, Fleta, Littleton, the Year Books, the three Cokes, 
and in short the marrow of the English law, he used to say that 
he got on very well with the first book, not so well with the 
second, worse with the th ird ; and at length found that the more 
he read, the more he was puzzled, knowing less when he left off 
than when he began — as all the law-books contradicted each 
other like the lawyers themselves : thus, after two years' hard 
work, he gave up all further attempts to expound what he swore 
'fore God was utterly inexplicable, He also relinquished his 
father's squabble with King George as to the race-course on the 
Great Heath ; and, concentrating his search after knowledge 
upon one learned book, the Justice of Quoruiris Pocket Companion, 
commenced magistrate. He was likewise a horse-racer, country 



420 



barrington's personal sketches 



gourmand, tippler, and farmer. His wife, my aunt, was as or- 
dinary a gentlewoman " as maybe seen of a summer's day;" 
but then, she was worthy in proportion. 

As to my uncle's figure, nothing resembling it having ever 
been seen, at least by me, I cannot pretend to give any idea of 
it, save by an especial description. He was short (which he said 
was the effect of the poison), and as broad as long — appearing to 
grow the wrong way. He observed, touching this subject, that 
where there are materials for growth, if anything does not 
advance in height, it spreads out like a fir-tree* when the top 
shoot is broken off and it fills wide at the bottom. He was not 
actually fat, nor particularly bony : I think his bulk consisted 
of solid, substantial flesh. His face was neither extravagantly 
ugly, nor disproportioned to his body ; but a double, or rather 
treble chin descended in layers very nearly to the pit of his 
stomach, whence his paunch abruptly stretched out, as if placed 
by Nature as a shelf for the chin to rest upon. His limbs each 
gained in thickness what it wanted in length ; so that it would 
seem impossible for him to be thrown down, or if he were, he 
would roll about like a ball. His hands (as if Nature exhibited 
the contrast for amusement's sake) were thin, white, and lady- 
like — so much so, indeed, that did he fall, they could not help 
him up again. " Each particular hair " was almost of the thick- 
ness of a goose-quill ; his locks were queued behind, and combed 
about once or twice da-month. His nostrils were always crammed 
with snuff (now and then discharged, as from a mortar, by sneez- 
ing), and his chins were so well dusted and caked with that 
material, that the whole visage at times appeared as if it were a 
magazine thereof. 

My uncle's dress exactly matched his style of person : he 
always wore a s?m$-coloured coat and breeches, with a scarlet 

* This idea was a standing joke with him for some time, till old Kit Julian, 
the retired exciseman (heretofore mentioned), made a hit at my uncle, which put 
his comparison to an end. "By my troth, then, Counsellor," said Kit, "if you 
are like a fir, it is not a ' spruce fir' anyhow." This sarcasm cut my uncle in the 
raw ; and it was said that he had an additional shaving-day and clean cravat 
every week afterward. — {Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



4l>l 



waistcoat that had been once bound with lace (the strings whereof 
remained, like ruins in a landscape) ; blue worsted stockings, 
and immense silver shoe and knee buckles. His hat was very 
large, with a blunt cock in front. It had also once been fully 
laced ; but no button had been seen on it since the year succeed- 
ing his nuptials. 

The fruits of my uncle's marriage were, as I have said, two 
boys and two girls. The eldest of these Geraldines, Tom, took 
to what ignorant doctors call poison — but country gentlemen, 
potation. My uncle declared he knew from his own experience 
that a "little learning was a dangerous thing;" and therefore 
thought it better that Tom should have none at all ! Tom there- 
fore studied nothing but " Cardan' s receipt for drinking!" The 
art of writing his own name came pretty readily ; but his pen- 
manship went no further. At twenty-six he quarrelled with a 
vicious horse, winch was easily offended. The animal, on his 
master's striking him with a whip, returned the blow with his 
hoof ; and on Tom being taken to his chamber and examined, it 
was found that he had left the greater part of his brains in the 
stable. 

Jack, his brother, was now heir-apparent. His figure was 
nearly as grotesque, but only half the size of his father's ; his 
eyes were of the most cautious description, one closely watching 
his nose, the other glancing quite outward, to see that no enemy 
approached. He loved liquor as well as Tom, but could not get 
down so much of it. Nevertheless, after a pretty long life, he 
was concluded by rather extravagant and too frequent doses of 
pore and potteen. 

I have already given some account of the castle of Moret as 
it formerly appeared. When I last saw it, some dozen of years 
back, it presented nothing remarkable save its ivy covering. The 
dwelling-house, which, as it stood in my uncle's time, would have 
been worth detailing (had not every country gentleman's mansion 
been of a similar genus), had declined into an ordinary residence. 
In Squire Stephen's day it was low, long, dilapidated, dirty, old, 
and ugly — and had defied paint, plaster, and whitewash, for at 



422 



baerington's personal sketches 



least the better half of a century. The barn, court, dunghill, 
pigeon-house, horse-pond, piggery, and slaughter-house, formed, 
as usual, the chief prospects from the parlour-windows ; and on 
hot days the effluvia were so exquisite, that one might clearly 
distinguish each several perfume. 

My uncle never could contrive to stick on horseback, and 
therefore considered riding as a dangerous exercise for any 
gentleman. He used to say it was indeed one of his standing 
jokes, that jockeys and vulgar persons, being themselves leasts, 
might stick by virtue of mutual attraction upon their own 
species ; but that ladies and gentlemen were, as a matter of 
course, always subject to tumble off. He bred and kept, notwith- 
standing, four or five race-horses, which he got regularly trained • 
and at every running upon the heath or curragh he entered 
such of them as were qualified by weight, etc. ; yet, singularly 
enough, though the animals were well bred and well trained, not 
one, during the whole of the five-and-twenty years that he kept 
them, ever won a plate, prize, or race of any description ; for all 
that he would never sell either for any price ; and when they 
got too old to run any more, they were turned out to end their 
days unmolested in a marsh and the straw-yard. It was said 
by those competent to judge that some of these animals were 
excellent, but that Squire Fitzgerald's old groom used to give 
trials, and to physic the horses, and that (through his people) 
they were bought off when there was a probability of their 
winning. However, my uncle, so that none of them were dis- 
tanced, was just as well pleased, exhibiting not the least uneasi- 
ness at their failure. Indeed, he never attended any of the races 
personally, or betted a shilling upon the event of one — circum- 
stances which remind me of a certain judge, who was always 
sufficiently gratified by a simple conviction and by passing 
sentence on a culprit, eventually saving more lives by pardon 
than any two of his colleagues. 

I was very young when taken to my uncle's for a stay of 
some months by my grandmother, but at an age when strong im- 
pressions are sometimes made upon the memory. I was a great 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



423 



favourite, and indulged in everything, even by my uncle ; and 
very frequently afterward, while my aunt lived at Moret in her 
widowhood, I visited there, every visit reminding me of former 
times, and recalling persons and things that might otherwise 
have been lost to my juvenile recollection. This latter was the 
period when, having nobody of my own age in the house to 
chatter to, I took delight in hearing the old people about Moret 
tell their long traditionary stories, which, as I observed in my 
first sketch (vol. i.) descended from generation to generation 
with hereditary exactness ; and, to the present day, I retain a 
fondness for hearing old occurrences detailed. 

My eldest female cousin, Miss Dolly Fitzgerald, was at least 
twelve years older than I when I was first taken to Moret by 
my grandmother ; the second, Miss Fanny, ten. Never, sure, 
did two sisters present such a contrast. Dolly was as like her 
father as rather more height and an uncommonly fair skin 
would permit ; her tongue was too large for the mouth, and con- 
sequently thickened her pronunciation ; her hair was yellow ; 
her feet were like brackets, and her hands resembled milk- 
white shoulders of mutton. Her features were good, but her 
nostrils and upper lip displayed considerable love of the favourite 
comforter of her father. She was very good natured, but igno- 
rance personified. 

Her sister was as thin as the handle of a sweeping-brush, 
and had dark eyes twinkling like stars on a vapoury evening, 
with yellow skin, black hair, a mouth literally stretching across 
the face (like a foss to protect her chin), very red lips, and much 
mere vivacity than comprehension. There were few sound teeth 
in the whole family, and none that a dentist would think worth 
the expense of dressing. 

For these two amiable young ladies it was the principal object 
of my aunt to procure husbands, if possible, in the neighbourhood. 
But the squires were shy of matching into the family of so 
great an oddity as my uncle. They preferred getting wives 
among people who went on the jog-trot of the world like them- 
selves. 



424 



barrington's personal sketches 



On this point my uncle and aunt entirely differed ; and 
during the discussions as to their differences, time ran on, 
nothing was done for the ladies, and Miss Dolly was in her six- 
and-twentieth year before she was fully emancipated from the 
discipline of the nursery and suffered to dine at papa's table. 
When that important period arrived, it was considered as a great 
epoch at Moret Castle ; all the neighbours were invited, and 
Dolly's majority was formally announced. She was then given 
to understand she might thereafter dine at the great table, speak 
to any gentleman she pleased, and, in short, have full liberty to 
act entirely as she thought proper, provided she always previously 
consulted her father's will, and obeyed it without " questions 
asked." She was likewise enjoined to take especial care not to 
forget her pastry * 

On these free and happy terms, Dolly was to have the 
chariot for a day, and to set the world on fire. The old carriage 
was accordingly cleared for action from the dust accumulated 
upon it, the horses' tails were trimmed, and the young lady was 
to go to the church of Portarlington the ensuing Sunday — 
" where," said my uncle to his spouse, " 'fore Gad, Kate, our 
Dolly will catch some young fellow after the service is over, 
either in the aisle or the churchyard. She'll have some pro- 
posals ; but, 'fore Gad, it's not everybody I'd give her to." 

"Don't be too sure, Stephen," rejoined my aunt. "You keep 
your daughters as if they were haunches of vension. It's not 
everybody who has a taste for meat that has been hung a fort- 
night in the larder to give it a flavour. The men, I tell you, 
like fresh and fresh, Stephen ; and be assured you have kept 
Dolly too long to suit every man's palate. I have always been 
telling you so, but you are perpetually saying you'll be the 
head of your own family ; so now you'll see the end of it !" 

* The Irish ladies in the country at that period were always taught the art of 
pie and dumpling making, as a necessary accomplishment ; and a husband who 
liked a good table always preferred a housekeeper to a gadder. Tempora 
muiantur ! — (Author's note.) 

The ladies seem to have vexed our author. There are no gadders now ; the 
work of life keeps their noses to the grinding- stone. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



425 



" Why, Kate, you were a good while in the larder yourself at 
Timahoe before you got a husband," replied my uncle. 

" I may thank the smallpox for that, Stephen," retorted my 
aunt : " only for that enemy I should never have been mistress 
of Moret Castle, Counsellor Stephen being governor of it !" 

"Well, you'll see that I am right," said my uncle. "I tell 
you, men who look out for wives like a seasoned, obedient 
woman at the head of their families, and not your tittering, 
giddy young creatures that have not had time to settle their 
brains or mature their understandings. No girl should be away 
from the eye of her natural guardian till she arrives at the full 
extent of her twenty-sixth year, like Dolly. "You'll see now 
she'll do some mischief at the church or churchyard of Portar- 
lington!" 

" Stephen," said my aunt (who, by-the-by, had her nose 
nearly stopped by the smallpox, which made her somewhat 
snuffle, and gave a peculiar emphasis to her vowels) 'tis too late ! 
Dolly knows nothing of the world. It would take a full year at 
the church and balls at Portarlington, the races of the Great 
Heath and green of Maryborough, the hurlings at the fort of 
Dunnally, and a month or two on a visit to our nephew, Jack 
Barrington, at Blandsfort, before she would learn enough to be 
able to converse with mankind on any subject — except darning 
your stockings, or turning off a kitchen-maid." 

My uncle started as much as his form would admit ; cocked 
his eyebrows, and stared with all his might. " 'Fore Gad, Kate, 
I believe you are out of your wits ! Did you say J ack Barring- 
ton's of Blandsfort ? Jack Barrington' s I Why, you know very 
well, Kate, as everybody knows, that there's nothing going on 
at that house but hunting and feasting ; dancing all night, and 
rattling about all day like mad people ; and coshering with 
raking pots of tea, hot cakes, syllabubs, pipers, and the devil 
knows what ! No, no. If Dolly were to get one month among 
her cousins at Blandsfort, I should never see a day's comfort 
after ; topsy-turvy would go Moret ! I'd never be master of 
my own house half-an-hour after Dolly had received a course of 



426 



barrington's personal sketches 



instruction at Jack Barrington's. I don't wish her to know too 
much of the world. No, no. Tore G-ad ; Kate, Dolly never puts 
her foot, while she is a spinster, into Jack Barrington's house at 
Blandsfort." 

Folks generally become mulish as their years advance, and 
my uncle enjoyed that quality in its greatest perfection. The 
Misses Dolly and Fanny Fitzgerald were commanded, under the 
pain of displeasure, by their patriarchal father, Stephen, to ab- 
jure and give up all thoughts of the festivities of Blandsfort. 

"'Fore Gad, Kate!" said my uncle to their more conceding 
mother — " 'Fore Gad, Kate, you had better send the girls a visit- 
ing to the antipodes than be turning them upside down at 
Blandsfort. No rational man would have anything to do with 
them afterwards. There it is only pull-haul and tear, and the 
devil take the hindmost ! — eh ?" 

"And for Heaven's sake, Stephen," replied my aunt (who 
was no cosmographer), "what family are these antipodes whom 
you would send our daughters to visit in preference to their 
nearest relations ? — I never heard of them : they must be up- 
starts, Stephen. I thought I knew every family in the county." 

"'Fore Gad, Kate!" rejoined my uncle, laughing heartily, 
" your father, old Sir John, ought to be tied to the cart's tail for 
so neglecting your education. Why, Kate, the antipodes are at 
this moment standing on their heads immediately under you — 
upside down, just as you see a fly on the ceiling, without the 
danger of falling down from it." 

" And for Heaven's sake, Stephen," said my puzzled aunt, 
"how do the ladies keep down their petticoats in that posi- 
tion?" 

" Ask Sir Isaac Newton that," said my uncle, who was not 
prepared for that interrogation. " But let me hear no more of 
the topsy-turvy of their cousins at Blandsfort. I'll send my 
daughters to church at Portarlington, Kate, where they cannot 
fail of being seen and much noticed." 

"And that may not be much in their favour at present, 
Stephen," replied my aunt, who was not blind to her progeny — 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



427 



" at least until they are a little better rigged out than in their 
present nursery dresses, Stephen." 

" Rig away, rig away, Kate ! " said my uncle, " rig away ; 
you may make them as tawdry as jackdaws, so as you don't turn 
their heads at Jack Barrington's." 

In fine, they were made sufficiently glaring, and, accompanied 
by aunt in the resuscitated postchaise, made their first debut at 
the church of Portarlington. Of course they attracted universal 
notice. The ladies congratulated my aunt on her showy girls ; 
the parson on their coming of age ; and the innkeeper declared 
they were the most genteelest of all the new subscribers to his 
ball and supper at the market-house. 

The ladies returned to Moret highly delighted with their 
cordial reception in the churchyard, and Mrs. Gregory, the 
head mantua-maker of the county, was immediately set to work 
to fit out the ladies in the newest taste of Dublin fashions, pre- 
paratory to the next ball. 

Now, Portarlington had been a very small village in the 
Queen's County until the French Protestant emigrants, on the 
revocation of the Edict of Nantes, made a settlement there (it 
was said from the enormous quantity of fine frogs generated in 
that neighbourhood), and there they commenced schoolmasters 
and mistresses, with a good reputation, which they ceased not 
to keep up, until in time it became an established seminary. 
Here the numerous schools and academies were always ready to 
pour out their hobbledehoys and misses in their teens to the 
dances and assemblies ; but very few mature gentlemen assisted 
at these coteries, and it was the customary prayer of all the 
young ladies going to those balls — " If I cannot get a man for a 
partner, Heaven, in thy mercy, send me a big boy !" 

Suffice it to say that my cousins, at the first ball, outglared 
all the females in the room put together ; my aunt's old rings 
and hereditary paraphernalia had been brought fully into 
requisition. But, unfortunately, Providence sent them that 
night neither a grown man-partner nor a big boy in the shape of 
a man-partner, and, after having sat as full-blown wall-flowers 



428 



BARPJNGTOtt'S PERSONAL SKETCHES 



the whole night, they returned to Moret highly discouraged 
that their rose-colour satin and family Dresdens, which cut all 
the other girls out of feather, had no better result than the 
going home again — my philosophical aunt telling them all the 
way home, " that balls were no places to catch husbands at, 
there was so much variety ; and I assure you, Dolly," said my 
aunt, " men, now-a-days, look more at a girl's purse than her 
flounces, and you'll have nothing very showy in that way whilst 
your father and mother are alive, Dolly." 

My poor cousin Dolly's feet also, after three balls more 
(dead failures), got so crimped and cramped by tight shoes, to 
restrain her fat brackets within reasonable boundaries, that 
corns, bunions, callosities, etc., showed a plentiful harvest the 
ensuing summer, and, conspiring with her winter chilblains, and 
tortures to match, put my poor cousin's jigging out of the ques- 
tion for the remainder of her existence. 

My cousin Fanny, whose feet were only bone and gristle, 
made numerous exhibitions both in the minuet and rigadoon, 
and for the same purpose. But no wooers for the Miss Fitz- 
geralds of Moret Castle made their advances ; not a sigh was 
exploded for either of the demoiselles, though the church, the 
balls, the races at the Great Heath, and hurlings at the fort of 
Dunnally, were all assiduously attended for the laudable purpose 
aforesaid. All in vain. And after a two years' vigorous chase 
the game was entirely given over, and my cousins slunk back 
into cover, where, in all human probability, they would have 
remained during their lives, had not heaven sent down a putrid 
fever to bring my uncle Stephen up to it, as all the old ladies 
asserted, to please the widow, although old Julian, the excise- 
man, ungratefully remarked, that " there must have been a 
great number of vacancies in Heaven when they called up the 
counsellor there." However, before her weeds got rusty, my 
aunt, shaking a loose leg, after having been forty years hand- 
cuffed and linked to Counsellor Stephen, set out with the entire 
family for the great city of Dublin, where, no doubt, the merits 
if not the beauty of my cousins, with a more proximate reversion, 
would be duly appreciated. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



429 



However, neither their merit nor beauty, nor the reversion, 
could exorcise the spirit of celibacy, which still pursued them 
from Moret. Jack, their brother, married a mantua-maker ; 
and my poor uncle, not being a Mahomedan, and, of course, not 
having any houri in the clouds to solace his leisure hours, and 
finding himself lonesome without his old Kate, Providence 
again showed its kindness towards him, and sent down a 
pulmonary consumption to Dublin to carry my aunt up to her 
well-beloved Stephen. My unfortunate cousins were now left 
orphans, of only forty and forty-one years of age, to buffet with 
the cares of the world, and accept the brevet-rank of old 
maidens, which they certainly did with as much good-humour 
and as little chagrin as are generally exhibited on those occa- 
sions. Their incomes were ample for all their purposes, and 
they got on to the end of their career very comfortably. Dolly 
chose three lap-dogs and a parrot for her favourites, and Fanny 
adopted a squirrel and four tom-cats to chase away her ennui. 
But those animals having a natural antipathy to each other, 
got into an eternal state of altercation and hostility, the parrot 
eternally screeching to make peace between them. So a maid- 
servant, who understood the humour of poodles, cats, etc. etc., 
was hired to superintend and keep them in peace and proper 
order. 

This maid of natural history got great ascendency ; and, as 
she was what is termed in Ireland a swaddler, in England a 
canter or psalm-singer, she soon convinced my cousins that 
there was no certain road to salvation, save through the 
preachers and love-feasts of those societies. Of course a plate 
was laid ready for some lank pulpiteer at dinner, every day, and 
my cousins became thorough-paced swaddlers (singing excepted). 
But, as years would still roll on, and they could not be always 
swaddling, and saving their souls, some extra comfort was, as 
customary, found necessary for their languid hours. The maid 
of natural history therefore suggested that, as solid food and 
weak Bordeaux were not of the best efficacy for feeble appetites, 
which her mistresses were beginning to show symptoms of, a 



430 



barkington's personal sketches 



glass of cordial, now and then, in the morning, might restore the 
tone of their stomachs. Of consequence, a couple of liqueur- 
bottles were prepared, and always properly replenished ; the 
ladies found their liquid appetites daily increase : the preacher 
got the whole bottle of wine to himself ; Lundy foot's most 
pungent was well crammed into my cousin's nostrils, as an 
interlude, till snuffling was effected ; and the matter went on as 
cheerily as possible between the dogs and cats, the preacher, 
snuff, and the cordial comforts, till an ill-natured dropsy, with 
tappings to match, sent my cousin Dolly to my uncle Stephen ; 
and some other disorder having transmitted cousin Fanny the 
same journey to her mother, I anticipated very great satisfaction 
in opening the last will and testament of the survivor ; where- 
upon, all things being regularly prepared, with an audible voice 
I read the first legacy, bequeathing " her body to the dust, and 
her soul to God," in most pious and pathetic expressions, and of 
considerable longitude. The second legacy ran : " Item — to my 
dear cousin, Jonah Barrington, I bequeath my mother's wed- 
ding-ring and my father's gold sleeve-buttons, as family keep- 
sakes ; also all my father's books and papers of every description, 
except bonds, or any securities for money, or contracts ; " and so 
far looked favourable, till, casting my eye over the third legacy, 
to the wonder of the company I stopped short, and handing it 
cautiously to the swaddling preacher (who was present), begged 
he would be so kind as to read it himself. This office he coyly 
accepted, and performed it in a drawling whine, and with heavy 
sighs, that made everybody laugh, except myself. In fine, cousin 
Fanny, after her " soul to God, and her body to the dust " (the 
latter of which legacies she could not possibly avoid), as to all 
her worldly substance, etc., bequeathed it " to such charitable 
purposes as her maid Mary might think proper, by and with the 
spiritual advice and assistance of that holy man, Mr. Clarke. 
This pious philosopher never changed a muscle at his good for- 
tune. The will, indeed, could be no surprise either to him or 
Mrs. Mary. With the aid of the orator's brother, who was an 
attorney (and got snacks), they had prepared it according to their 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



431 



own satisfaction ; and cousin Fanny executed it one evening, 
after her cordial and prayers had their full operation ; and, in a 
few days more, her disorder put a conclusive termination to any 
possibility of revoking it. 

This affair had its sequel exactly as any rational person 
might have anticipated. The preacher and Mrs. Mary, after a 
decent mourning, united their spiritual and temporal concerns, 
and became flesh of the flesh and bone of the bone ; in which 
happy state of husband and wife (which happy state they had 
been in many months before the ceremony was thought neces- 
sary) they remained nearly two years, when his reverence, 
happening to light on a younger and handsomer swaddler and 
legatee, after beating Mrs. Mary almost to a jelly, embarked with 
his new proselyte for America, where, changing his name, curl- 
ing his hair, colouring his eyebrows, etc. etc., he turned Quaker, 
and is at this moment, I have learned, in good repute at meeting, 
and solvency as a trader, in the city of Philadelphia. 

The entire of my uncle Stephen's library and manuscripts, 
with the exception of the year-books, Newcastle on the Manege, 
seven farriery and several cookery books, I gave to my friend, old 
Lundyfoot, to envelop his powder in ; and most of my books 
being well impregnated, or rather populously inhabited, by divers 
miiiute and nearly impalpable maggots, probably added some 
poignancy to the sneezing qualities of his celebrated prepara- 
tion. 

I recollect a whimsical expression used by Davy Lander, an 
Irish counsellor, whom I brought with me to hear the will read. 

" By my soul, Barrington," said Lander, " she was right 
enough in bequeathing her soul to God, out of hand, or the 
devil would certainly have taken it as heir-at-law ! But I hope 
he has the reversion." 

That branch of the Geraldines is now entirely extinct, hav- 
ing ended with my cousin Fanny, the swaddler ; and nothing 
now remains but the old castle, its celebrated ivy tree, St. Brid- 
get's stone, and my legends, to preserve even the recollection of 
Moret. 



432 



barrington's personal sketches 



HANGING AN" ATTOENEY BY ACCIDENT. 

A hanging-match of a very curious nature occurred a few days 
after the breaking out of the same rebellion in Dublin, and its 
relation will form an excellent companion to that of Lieutenant 
H 's mode of execution. 

The attorney's corps of yeomanry, horse and foot, were at 
that period little less than 800 or 900 strong ; and I really 
believe it might, in an enemy's country (or even in a remote 
district of its own), have passed for as fine a " pulk of Cossacks " 
as ever came from the banks of the Don or the Danube. 

In Ireland, everything has its alias denomination ; in the 
regular army, certain regiments are honoured by the titles of the 
" King's own," the " Queen's own," or the " Prince's own," etc. 
Many of the Irish yeomanry corps, in 1798, were indulged with 
similar distinctions ; not indeed by the King himself, but by his 
majesty's sovereign mob of Dublin. For example, the attorney's 
regiment was christened, collectively, the "Devil's own;" the 
infantry part of it, the Rifle Brigade ; and the cavalry, the 
Chargers ; the custom-house corps, Caesar's (seizer's) army, etc. 
etc. etc. The pre-eminent titles thus given to the attorneys, 
who are gentlemen by act of parliament, were devised by one 
Mr. Murry, a cheese and oilman in Great George Street, whose 
premises (as he deponed) were stormed one night by a patrol of 
that legal corps, and divers articles of the first quality — food and 
luxury, cheeses, hams, tongues, anchovies, Burton ale, and bottled 
porter, etc., were abstracted against his will therefrom, and 
feloniously conveyed into, and concealed in, the bodies, bowels, 
and intestines, of divers ravenous and thirsty attorneys, 
solicitors, and scriveners ; and thereby conveyed beyond the 
reach or jurisdiction of any search-warrants, replevins, or other 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



433 



legal process. A more curious deposition did not appear during the 
whole of those troublesome times, than that sworn by Mr. Murry, 
cheese and oilman, and annexed to a petition to Parliament for com- 
pensation. However, the Parliament, not considering Mr. Murry 
to be an extra-loyalist (but which the attorneys certainly were, 
and ultra into the bargain), refused to replenish his warehouse. 
In consequence whereof, Mr. Murry decided upon his own revenge 
by nicknaming the enemy, wherein he succeeded admirably. 

Here I cannot avoid a little digression, by observing, that so 
strong and enthusiastic was the genuine loyalty which seized 
upon the nobility, gentry, and clergy of Dublin at that period, 
that even the young gentlemen of Merrioii Square, who had so 
far advanced toward their grand climacteric as to exceed three- 
score, formed a strong band of volunteers, who proved their 
entire devotion to king and country by first parading every fine 
evening, then drinking tea and playing whist, and afterwards 
patrolling all Merrion Square — east, west, north, and south ; and 
if there had been any more sides, no doubt they would have 
patrolled them also. They then, in a most loyal manner, supped 
alternately at each other's houses. They were commanded by 
Lord Viscount Allen, who was surnamed the H Bog of Allen," 
from his size and substance, and contrasted with the Lieutenant- 
Colonel, Mr. AYestenra (father of the present Lord Piossmore), 
who, having no flesh of his own, was denominated m the Com- 
missary." This company, as a body, were self-entitled the Garde 
die Corps, alluding to their commander Lord Allen ; and as they 
could have (by the course of nature) but a short period either to 
fight or run away, and life, like every other commodity, when it 
runs rather short, becomes the more valuable, so they very wisely 
took most especial care of the remnants of their own, as civilians ; 
and, of a wet or damp night, I have with great pleasure seen a 
score, at least, of our venerable Garde Grenadier gallantly patrol- 
ling Merrion Square, and marching in a long file of sedan-chairs, 
with their muskets sticking out of the windows ready to deploy 
and fire upon any rebel enemy to church or state who should 
dare to oppose their progress and manoeuvres. 

VOL. II. 2 F 



434 



barrington's personal sketches 



The humorists of that day, however, would not consent to 
any Gallic denomination for these loyal yoeinen, whom they 
rather chose to distinguish by a real Irish title — viz. the Fogies* 
a term meaning, in Hibernian dialect, " a bottle that has no 
liquor in it." This excellent corps, in due time, however, died 
off without the aid of any enemy, and, I fear, not one of them 
remains to celebrate the loyalty of the defunct. I therefore have 
taken upon myself that task (so far as my -book can accomplish 
it), for which I shall, doubtless, receive the heartfelt thanks of 
their sons and grandchildren. 

I shall now proceed to the misfortunes of an attorney, neither 
deserved nor expected by that loyal yeoman : the anecdote, how- 
ever, should remain as a caution and warning to all hangmen 
by profession, and other loyal executioners, down to the latest 
posterity. 

The regiment of attorneys, etc. (or, as the malicious Mr. Murry 
called them, the " Devil's own"), was at that time extremely well 
commanded ; the cavalry (or " chargers ") by a very excellent old fox- 
hunting solicitor, Arthur Dunn ; the infantry (or riile companies), 
by Mr. Kit Abbot, a very good, jovial, popular practitioner. 

Both commanders were loyal to the back-bone ; they formed 
unbending buttresses of church and state, and had taken the 
proper obligation, " to bury themselves under the ruins of the 
Weavers' Hall and Skinners' Alley, sooner than yield one inch 
of the Dodder River or the Poddle Gutters to any Croppy or 
democratic papist." 

* Few gentlemen in Ireland made more 11 Fogies" than the good and witty- 
Sir Hercules Langrishe, one of that corps, and who was said to have been the 
godfather of his company. 

Sir Hec's idea of "Fogies" may be collected from an anecdote Sir John 
Parnell, chancellor of the exchequer, used to tell of him with infinite pleasantry. 

Sir John, one evening immediately after dinner, went to Sir Hercules on some 
official business ; he found him in the midst of revenue papers, with two empty- 
bottles and a glass standing immediately before him. "What the deuce, Sir 
Hec ! " said Sir John, "why, have you finished these two already?" "To be 
sure I have," said Sir Hec ; " they were only claret. " " And was nobody helping 
you ? " said Sir John. "Oh, yes, yes ! " said Sir Hercules ; "see there, a bottle of 
port came to my assistance ; there's his fogy." 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



435 



After the rebellion broke out, some of these true and loyal 
attorneys, feeling that martial law had totally superseded their 
own, — and that having nothing to do in the moncij-msLiket then 
visits to the flesh-market were proportionally curtailed ; credit 
having likewise got totally out of fashion (as usual during 
rebellions), — they bethought themselves of accomplishing some 
military acliievenient which might raise their renown, and per- 
haps at the same time "raise the wind;" and, as good luck 
would have it, an opportunity soon turned up, not only of their 
signalising their loyalty, but also (as they imagined without 
much hazard) of a couple of days' feasting at free quarters. 

This adventure eventually had the fortunate result of procur- 
ing a bulletin in several of the Dublin newspapers, though it 
did not seriously give the gallant yeomen half the credit which 
their intrepidity and sufferings had merited. 

Sir John Ferns,* who had been sheriff, and the most cele- 
brated wine-merchant of Dublin, was at that period justly 
admired for his singing — his luxurious feasts — insatiable thirst 
— and hard-going hospitality : his amarynth nose, with cheeks 
of Bardolph, twinkling black eyes with a tinge of blood in the 
white of them, rendered any further sign for his wine-vaults 
totally unnecessary. 

This Sir John (like the Earl of Northumberland in Cheviot 
Chase) had made some vow, or cursed some curse, that he would 

* Sir J. Ferns had one quality to an astonishing extent, which I can well vouch 
for, having often heard and seen its extraordinary effects. 

His singing voice, I believe, never yet was equalled for its depth and volumo 
of sound. It exceeded all my conceptions, and at times nearly burst the tympa- 
num of the ear, without the slightest discord ! 

Yet his falsetto, or feigned voice, stole in upon the bass without any tones of 
that abrupt transition which is frequently perceptible amongst the best of songsters : 
his changes, though as it were from thunder to a flute, had not one disagreeable 
tone with them. 

This extreme depth of voice was only in perfection when he was in one of his 
singing humours ; and the effect of it (often shivering empty glass) was of course 
diminished in a large, and altogether inoperative in a very spacious room ; but in 
a moderately low and not very large chamber its effect was miraculous. — (Author's 
note.) 



436 



barrington's personal sketches 



take his sport three summer days, hanging or hunting rebels, 
and burning their haunts and houses about the town of Eath- 
farnham, where he had a villa. All this he was then empowered 
and enabled to do, by virtue of martial law, without pain or 
penalty, or lying under any compliment to judges or juries, as 
in more formal or legal epochas. He accordingly set about 
recruiting well-disposed and brave associates to join him in the 
expedition, and most fortunately hit upon Attorney James 
Potterton, Esq., in every point calculated for his aide-de-camp. 
The troop was quickly completed, and twenty able and vehe- 
ment warriors, with Captain Sir John Ferns at their head, and 
Mr. James Potterton (who was appointed sergeant), set out to 
hang, hunt, and burn all before them where they found disloyalty 
lurking about Eathfarnham. 

The troop was composed of five attorneys ; three of Mr. John 
Claudius Beresford's most expert yeomen, called manglers, from 
his riding-house ; two grocers from the guild of merchants ; an 
exciseman, and a master tailor ; a famous slop-seller from Pool- 
beg Street ; a buck parson from the county of Kildare ; one of 
Sir John's own bottlers, and his principal corker ; also a couple 
of sheriff's officers. Previously to setting out, the captain filled 
their stomachs gullet-high with ham, cold round, and cherry 
bounce ; and being so duly filled, Sir John then told them the 
order of battle. 

" I sent to the landlord of the yellow house of Eathfarnham, 
many months ago," said Sir John, "a hogshead of my capital 
chateau mar got, for which he has never paid me ; and as that 
landlord now, in all probability, deserves to be hanged, we can 
at least put up with him at nights ; drink my chateau ; do mili- 
tary execution in the days, which will report well to Lord 
Castlereagh ; and at all events, the riding and good cheer can do 
us no harm." This was universally approved of ; and, led by 
this gallant and celebrated vintner, the troop set off to acquire 
food and fame about the environs of the capital. 

Sergeant Potterton, who was a very good-humoured and 
good-natured attorney, with a portion of slang dryness and a sly 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



437 



drawl, diverting enough, afterwards recited to me the whole of 
their adventure, which campaign was cut a good deal shorter 
than the warriors premeditated. 

" No man," said Attorney Potterton, " could be better calcu- 
lated to lead us to any burning excursion than Sir John. You 
know, Counsellor, that every feature in his face is the picture of 
a conflagration ; and the people swear that when he bathes, the 
sea fizzes, as if he was a hot iron. 

" But," continued Sergeant Potterton, " Counsellor Curran's 
story of Sir John's nose setting a cartridge on fire, when he was 
biting oft' the end of it, has not one word of truth in it." 

This troop had advanced on their intended route just to the 
spot where, a few nights before, the Earl of Eoden had received 
a bullet in his nightcap, and had slain some rebels, when Ser- 
geant Potterton espied a rebel skulking in what is called in 
Ireland a brake or knock of furze. Of course the sergeant 
immediately shouted out, in the proper military style — " Halloa, 
boys ! — halloa ! — hush ! — hush ! — silence ! — halloa ! Oh ! by 

, there's a nest of rapparee rebels in that knock. Come on, 

lads, and we'll slice every mother's babe of them to their entire 
satisfaction. Now, draw, boys I — draw ! — cock ! — charge !" said 
the grocers. u Charge away!" echoed the attorneys ; and with- 
out further ceremony they did charge the knock of furze with 
most distinguished bravery ; but, alas ! their loyal intentions 
were disappointed ; the knock of furze was found uninhabited ; 
the rebels had stolen off, on their hands and feet, across a ditch 
adjoining it ; and whilst the royal scouters were busily employed 
cutting, hacking, and twisting every furze and tuft, in expecta- 
tion that a rebel was behind it, of a sudden a certain noise and 
smoke, which they had no occasion for, came plump from an 

adjoining ditch. " Halloa ! — halloa ! — I'm hit, by !" said 

one. " I'm grazed, by the ! " said another. " I heard the 

slugs whiz like hailstones by my head !" swore a third. " 0, 

blood and z ! " roared out Sergeant Potterton, the attorney, 

" I've got an indenture in my forehead," " This is nothing else 
but a fair ambush," said Malony the bailiff, scratching his cheek, 



438 



barmngton's personal sketches 



through which a couple of slugs had made an illegal entry to 
visit his grinders. "Church and state be d — d!" said the 
buck parson, inadvertently, on seeing a dash of blood on his 
waistcoat. " Oh, murder ! murder ! " cried the slop-merchant. 
" Oh, Mary Ann, Mary Ann ! why did I not stay fair and easy 
at Poolbeg Street, as you wanted me, and I would not be mas- 
sacred in this manner ! " 

Many of the combatants actually fancied themselves mortally 
wounded, at least, and all nocked round Captain Sir John Ferns 
for orders in this emergency. " Halloa ! " roared the captain ; 
"Halloa, boys, wheel — wheel — eel — 1 — boys ! I say, wheel — 
1 — 1 — !" But being too brave to specify whether to the right 
or left, or front or rear, every wheeler wheeled according to his 
own taste and judgment ; some to right and others to left, by 
twos, threes, fours, and single files, as was most convenient ; of 
course the poor horses, being equally uncertain as the riders, 
absolutely charged each other in one melange — heads and tails — 
helter-skelter — higgledy piggledy — rumps and foreheads all toult- 
ing and twisting, to the great edification of the gentlemen rebels, 
who stood well hid behind the ditch, charging for another volley. 

Sir John, standing bravely in the centre to rally his men, his 
nose like the focus of a burning-glass collecting its rays, was 
himself a little astounded at seeing the number who appeared 
wounded and bleeding after so short an encounter. Tor this 
surprise the captain no doubt had very good cause ; his charger 
had, in truth, got a bullet through his nostrils, and not being 
accustomed to . twitches of that kind, he began to toss up his 
head, very naturally, in all directions, dispersing his blood on 
the surrounding warriors ; whilst, there being no particular tint 
by which the blood of a Christian or an attorney and that of a 
horse are distinguished on a field of battle, every gallant who 
got a splash of the gelding's aqua vitm from his nose and nostrils, 
fancied it was his own precious gore which was gushing out of 
some hole bored into himself, in defence of the church and 
state ; to both of which articles he gave a smothered curse for 
bringing him into so perilous and sanguinary an adventure. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



439 



However, they wisely considered that the greatest bravery 
may be carried too far, and become indiscretion. By a sort of 
instinctive coincidence of military judgment, therefore, without 
waiting for a council of war, word of command, or such ill-timed 
formalities, the whole troop immediately proved in what a con- 
temptible point of view they held such dangers ; and to show 
that they could turn a battle into a matter of amusement, com- 
monly called a horse-race — such as was practised by the car- 
bineers at the battle of Castlebar, Captain Ferns, Sergeant 
Potterton, and the entire troop, started from the post, or rather 
the knock of furze, at the same moment, every jockey trying 
whose beast could reach a quarter of a mile off with the greatest 
expedition. This was performed in a time incredibly short. The 
winner, however, never was decided ; as, when a halt took place, 
every jockey swore that he was the last — being directly contrary 
to all horse-races which do not succeed a battle. 

When the race was over, a council of war ensued, and they 
unanimously agreed, that as no rebel had actually appeared, they 
must of course be defeated, and that driving rebels out of the 
furze was, in matter of fact, a victory. 

After three cheers, therefore, for the Protestant ascendency, 
they determined to follow up their success, and scour the 
neighbourhood of all lurking traitors. 

With this object (like hounds that had lost their game), 
they made a cast to get upon the scent again ; so at a full 
hand-gallop they set out, and were fortunate enough to succeed 
in the enterprise. In charging through a corn-field, the slop- 
seller's horse, being rather near-sighted, came head foremost 
over some bulky matter hid amongst the corn. " Ambush ! 
ambush!" cried Sir John. " Ambush ! ambush;" echoed his 
merry men all. Sergeant Potterton, however, being more fool- 
hardy than his comrades, spurred on to aid the poor slop- 
trader. In getting across the deep furrows, his gelding took 
the same summersets as his less mettlesome companion, and 
seated Sergeant Potterton exactly on the carcass of the slop- 
man, who, for fear of worse, had laid himself very quietly at 



440 



barrington's personal sketches 



full length in the furrow ; and the sergeant, in rising to regain 
his saddle, perceived that the slop-man's charger had stumbled 
over something which was snoring as loud as a couple of French 
horns close beside him. The sergeant promptly perceived that 
he had gotten a real prize. It was with good reason supposed 
to be a drunken rebel, who lay dozing and snorting in the 
furrow, but certainly not dreaming of the uncomfortable journey 
he was in a few minutes to travel into a world that, before he 
fell asleep, he had not the least idea of visiting. 

" Hollo ! hollo ! hollo ! Captain and brave boys," cried 
Attorney Potterton. " I've got a lad sure enough, and though 
he has no arms about him, there can be no doubt but they lie 
hid in the corn. So his guilt is proved, and I never saw a 
fellow a more proper example to make in the neighbourhood!" 
In this idea all coincided. But what was to be done to legalise 
his death and burial, was a query. A drum-head court-martial 
was very properly mentioned by the captain ; but on consider- 
ing that they had no drum to try him on, they were at a con- 
siderable puzzle, till Mr. Malony declared " that he had seen 
a couple of gentlemen hanged in Dublin on Bloody-bridge a 
few days before, without any trial, and that by martial law no 
trial was then necessary for hanging of anybody." This sug- 
gestion was unanimously agreed to, and the rebel was ordered 
to be immediately executed on an old leafless tree (which was 
at the corner of the field, just at their possession), called in 
Ireland a rampike. 

It was, however, thought but a proper courtesy to learn from 
the malefactor himself whom they were to hang. He protested 
an innocence that no loyal man in those times could give any 
credit to. He declared that he was Dan Delany, a well-known 
brogue-maker at G-lan Maleer ; that he was going to Dublin for 
leather, but the whisky was too many for him, and he lay down 
to sleep it off when their hands waked him. " Nonsense ! " said 
the whole troop, " he'll make a most beneficial example ! " 

Nothing now was wanting but a rope, a couple of which the 
bailiff had fortunately put into his coat-case for a magistrate 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



near Eathfarnham, as there were no ropes there the strength of 
which could be depended upon, if rebels happened to be fat and 
weighty, or hanged in couples. 

This was most fortunate, and all parties lent a hand at pre- 
paring the cravat for Mr. Dan Delany, brogue-maker. Mr. 
Walker happened to be the most active in setting the throttler, 
so as to ensure no failure. All was arranged : the rebel was 
slung cleverly over the rampike ; but Mr. Walker, perceiving 
that the noose did not run glib enough, rode up to settle it 
about the neck so as to put Mr. Delany out of pain, when, most 
unfortunately, his own fist slipped inadvertently into the noose, 
and, whilst endeavouring to extricate himself, his charger got a 
smart kick with the rowels, which, like all other horses, con- 
sidering as an order to proceed, he very expertly slipped from 
under Attorney Walker, who was fast, and left him dangling in 
company with his friend the brogue-maker, one by the head and 
the other by the fist ; and as the rope was of the best manu- 
facture, it kept both fast and clear from the ground, swinging 
away with some grace and the utmost security. 

The beast being thus freed from all constraint, thought the 
best thing he could do was to gallop home to his own stable (if 
he could find the way to it), and so set out with the utmost 
expedition, kicking up behind, and making divers vulgar noises, 
as if he was ridiculing his master's misfortune. 

He was, however, stopped on the road, and sent home to 
Dublin, with an intimation that Captain Ferns and all the 
troop were cut off near Eathfarnham ; and this melancholy intelli- 
gence was published, with further particulars, in a second 
edition of the Dublin Erening Post, two hours after the arrival 
of Mr. Walker's charger in the metropolis. 

Misfortunes never come alone. The residue of the troop in 
high spirits had cantered on a little. The kind offices of Mr. 
Walker to Mr. Delany being quite voluntary, they had not 
noticed his humanity ; and, on his roaring out to the very 
extent of his lungs, and the troop turning round, as the devil 
would have it, another tree intercepted the view of Mr. Walker, 



442 



barrington's personal sketches 



so that they perceived a very different object. "Captain, 
captain/' cried out four or five of the troop all at once, " Look 
there ! look there ! " and there did actually appear several hun- 
dred men, attended by a crowd of women and children, ap- 
proaching them by the road on which the rebel had been appre- 
hended. There was no time to be lost, and a second heat of 
the horse-race immediately took place, but without waiting to 
be started as on the former occasion ; and this course being 
rather longer than the last, led them totally out of sight of 
Messrs. Walker and Delany. 

The attorney and rebel had in the meantime enjoyed an 
abundance of that swing-swang exercise which so many pro- 
fessors of law, physic, and divinity practised pending the Irish 
insurrection ; nor was there the slightest danger of their pastime 
being speedily interrupted, as Captain Ferns' troop, being flanked 
by above three hundred rebels, considered that the odds were too 
tremendous to hold out any hopes of a victory. Of course a 
retrograde movement was considered imperative, and they were 
necessitated, as often happens after boasted victories, to leave 
Messrs. Walker and Delany twirling about in the string, like a 
pair of fowls under a bottle-jack. 

But notwithstanding they were both in close and almost 
inseparable contact, they seemed to enjoy their respective situa- 
tions with a very different demeanour. 

The unpleasant sensations of Mr. Delany had for a consider- 
able time subsided into a general tranquillity, nor did his manner 
in the slightest degree indicate any impatience or displeasure at 
being so long detained in company with the inveterate solicitor, 
nor indeed did he articulate one sentence of complaint against 
the boisterous conduct of his outrageous comrade. 

The attorney, on the contrary, not being blessed with so even 
a temper as Mr. Delany, showed every symptom of inordinate 
impatience to get out of his company, and exhibited divers 
samples of plunging, kicking, and muscular convulsion, more 
novel and entertaining than even those of the most celebrated 
rope-dancers ; he also incessantly vociferated as loud, if not 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



443 



louder than he had ever done upon any former occasion, though 
not in an)" particular dialect or language, but as a person gener- 
ally does when undergoing a cruel surgical operation. 

The attorney's eyes not having anything to do with the 
hanging matter, he clearly saw the same crowd approachiug 
which had caused the retrograde movement of his comrades ; 
and, as it approached, he gave himself entirely up for lost, being 
placed in the very same convenient position for piking as 
Absalom, when General Joab ran him through the body without 
the slightest resistance ; and though the attorney's toes were 
not two feet from the ground, he made as much fuss, floundering 
and bellowing, as if they had been twenty. 

The man of law at length became totally exhausted and 
tranquil, as children gen. -rally are when they have no strength 
to squall any longer. He had, however, in this state of captivity, 
the consolation of beholding, at every up-glance, the bloated, 
raven-gray visage of the king's enemy, and his disloyal eyes 
bursting from their sockets, and full glaring with inanimate 
revenge on the lovalist who had darkened them. A thrilling 
horror seized upon the nerves and muscles of the attorney. His 
sins and clients were now, like the visions in Macbeth, or King 
Saul and the Witch of Endor, beginning to pass in shadowy 
review before his imagination. The last glance he could dis- 
tinctly take, as he looked upward to Heaven for aid (there being 
none at luithlarnhani), gave a dismal glimpse of his once red-and- 
white engrossing member, now, like the cameleon, assuming the 
deep purple hue of the rebel jaw it was in contact with, the 
fingers spread out, cramped, and extended as a fan before the 
rebel visage ; and numbness, the avant-courier of mortification, 
having superseded torture, he gave himself totally up to Heaven. 
If he had a hundred prayers, he would have repeated every one 
of them ; but, alas ! theology was not his forte, and he was 
gradually sinking into that merciful insensibility invented by 
farriers, when they twist an instrument upon a horse's nostrils, 
that the torture of his nose may render him insensible to the 
pains his tail is enduring. 



444 



baemngton's personal sketches 



Iii the mean time the royal troop, which had most pruden- 
tially retreated to avoid an overwhelming force, particularly on 
their flank, as the enemy approached, yielded ground, though 
gradually. The enemy being all foot, the troop kept only a 
quarter of a mile from them, and merely retreated a hundred 
yards at a time, being sure of superior speed to that of the rebels, 
when, to the surpise of Captain Ferns, the enemy made a sudden 
wheel, and took possession of a churchyard upon a small 
eminence, as if intending to pour down on the cavalry, if they 
could entice them within distance ; but, to the astonishment of 
the royal troopers, instead of the Irish war-whoop, which they 
expected, the enemy set up singing and crying in a most plain- 
tive and inoffensive manner. The buck parson, with Malony 
the bailiff, being ordered to reconnoitre, immediately galloped 
back, announcing that the enemy had a coffin, and were per- 
forming a funeral ; but, both swearing that it was a new 
ambush, and the whole troop coinciding in the same opinion, a 
further retreat was decided on, which might be now performed 
without the slightest confusion. It was also determined to carry 
off their dead, for such it was taken for granted the attorney 
must have been, by the excess of his agitation, dancing and. 
plunging till they lost sight of him, and also through the con- 
tagion and poisonous collision of a struggling rebel, to whom he 
had been so long cemented. 

In order, therefore, to bring off the solicitor, dead or alive, they 
rallied, formed, and charged, sword in hand, towards the rampike, 

where they had left Attorney W and Mr. Delany in so novel 

a situation, and where they expected no loving reception. 

In the meantime, it turned out that the kicking, plunging, 
and rope-dancing of the attorney had their advantages ; as at 
length the obdurate rope, by the repeated pulls and twists, 
slipped over the knot of the rampike which had arrested its 
progress, ran freely, and down came the rebel and royalist 
together, with an appropriate crash, on the green sod under their 
gibbet, which seemed beneficently placed there by Nature on 
purpose to receive them. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



445 



The attorney's innocent fist, however, still remained tightly 
moored to the gullet of the guilty rebel, and might have 
remained there till they grew or rotted together, had not the 
opportune arrival of his gallant comrades saved them from 
mortification. 

To effect the separation of Attorney W and Mr. Delany 

was no easy achievement — the latter had gone to his forefathers ; 
but the rope was strong and tight — both able and willing to 
have hung half-a-dozen more of them, if employed to do so. 
Many loyal pen-knives were set instantly at work, but the rope 
defied them all — the knot was too solid. At length Sergeant 
Potterton's broadsword, having assumed the occupation of a 
saw, effected the operation without any accident, save sawing 
across one of the attorney's veins. The free egress of his loyal 
gore soon brought its proprietor to his sense of existence, though 
three of the fingers had got so clever a stretching, that the 
muscles positively refused to bend any more for them, and they 
ever after retained the same fan-like expansion as when knotted 
to Mr. Delany. The index and thumb still retained their 
engrossing powers, to the entire satisfaction of the club of 
Skinners' Alley, of which he was an active alderman. 

The maimed attorney was now thrown across a horse and 
carried to a jingle,* and sent home with all the honours of war 
to Iris wife and children, to make what use they pleased of. 

Captain Ferns' royal troop now held another council of war, 
to determine on ulterior operations ; and, though the rebel army 
in the churchyard might have been only a funeral, it was unani- 
mously agreed that an important check had been given to the 
rebels of Eathfarnham ; yet that prudence was as necessary an 
ingredient in the art of war as intrepidity; and that it might 
be risking the advantage of what had been done, if they made 
any attempt on the yellow house, or the captain's Bordeaux, as 
they might be overpowered by a host of pot-valiant rebels, and 
thereby his [Majesty be deprived of their future services. 

They therefore finally decided to retire upon Dublin at a 

* A jaunting-car. 



446 



barrington's personal sketches 



sling-trot ; publish a bulletin of the battle in Captain Giffard's 
Dublin Journal ; wait upon Lords Camden and Castlereagh, and 
Mr. Cooke, with a detail of the expedition and casualties ; and, 
finally, celebrate the action by a dinner, when the usual beverage, 
with the anthem of " G-od Save the King," might unite in doing 
national honour both to the liquor and to his Majesty, the latter 
being always considered quite lonesome by the corporators of 
Dublin unless garnished by the former accompaniment. 

This was all carried into effect. Lieutenant H , the 

walking gallows (ante), was especially invited ; and the second 
metropolis of the British empire had thus the honour of achiev- 
ing the first victory over the rebellious subjects of his Majesty 
in the celebrated insurrection of 1798. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



447 



FLOGGING THE WINE -COOPERS. 

Ax anecdote, amongst many of the same genus, which I wit- 
nessed myself, about the same period, is particularly illustrative 
of the state of things in the Irish metropolis at the celebrated 
epocha of 1798. 

Two wine-coopers of a Mr. Thomas White, an eminent wine- 
merchant in Clare Street, had been bottling wine at my house 
in Merrion Square. I had known them long to be honest, quiet, 
and industrious persons. Going to their dinner, they returned, 
to my surprise, with their coats and waistcoats hanging loose on 
their arms, and their shirts quite bloody behind. They told 
their pit if id story with peculiar simplicity. That, as they were 
passing quietly by Major Connor's barrack, at Shelburn House, 
Stephen's Green, a fellow who owed one of them a grudge for 
beating him and his brother at Donnybrook, had told Major 
Connor that — " He heard we were black rebels, and knew well 
where many a pike was hid in vaults and cellars in the city, if 
we chose to discover of them ; on which the Major, please your 
honour, Counsellor, without stop or stay, or the least ceremony 
in life, ordered the soldiers to strip us to our buffs, and then tied 
us to the butt-end of a great cannon ; and what did he do then, 
Counsellor dear, to two honest poor coopers, but he ordered the 
soldiers to give us fifty cracks a-piece with the devil's cat-o'-nine- 
tails, as he called it — though, by my sowl, I believe there were 
twenty tails to it — which the Major said he always kept saften- 
ing in brine, to wallop such villains as we were, Counsellor dear ! 
Well, every whack went through my carcass, sure enough ; and 
I gave tongue, because I couldn't help it. So, when he had his 
will of us, he ordered us to put on our shirts, and swore us to 
come back in eight days more for the remaining fifty cracks, 



448 



barrington's personal sketches 



unless we brought fifty pikes in the place of them. Ah, the 
devil a pike ever we had, Counsellor dear ; and what'll we do, 
Counsellor — what'll we do ?" 

" Take this to the Major," said I, writing to him a note of no 
very gentle expostulation. " Give this, with my compliments ; 
and if he does not redress you, I'll find means of making him." 

The poor fellows were most thankful ; and I immediately 
received a note from the Major, with many thanks for undeceiv- 
ing him, and stating, that if the wine-coopers would catch the 
fellow that belied them, he'd oblige the chap with a cool hundred, 
from a new double cat, which he would order for the purpose. 

The Major strictly kept his word. The wine-coopers soon 
found their accuser, and brought him to Major Connor, with my 
compliments ; who sent him home in half-an-hour with as raw 
a back as any brave soldier in his Majesty's service. 

Learning also from the coopers that their enemy was an 
attorney's clerk (a profession the Major had a most inveterate 
and very just aversion to), he desired them to bring him any 
disloyal attorneys they could find, and he'd teach them more 
justice in one hour at Shelburn Barracks than they'd practise 
for seven years in the Four Courts. 

The accuser, who got so good a practical lecture from Major 
Connor, was a clerk to Mr. H. Hudson, an eminent attorney of 
Dublin. 

The Major's brother, Arthur, was under a state prosecution, 
and incarcerated as an unsuccessful patriot — but one to whom 
even Lord Clare could not deny the attributes of consistency, 
firmness, and fidelity. His politics were decidedly sincere. 
Banished from his own country, he received high promotion in 
the French army ; and, if he had not been discontinued from the 
staff of his relative, Marshal Grouchy, the battle of Waterloo 
(from documents I have seen) must have had a different termi- 
nation. This, however, is an almost inexcusable digression. 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



449 



THE EXNISCOETHY BOAR 

A most ludicrous incident chanced to spring out of the most 
murderous conflict, for the numbers engaged, that had occurred 
during the merciless insurrection of 1798 in Ireland. 

The murdered victims had not been effectually interred, the 
blood was scarcely dry upon the hill, and the embers of the 
burned streets not yet entirely extinguished in Enniscorthy, 
when, in company with a friend who had miraculously escaped 
the slaughter, and Mr. John Grogan of Johnstown, who was then 
seeking for evidence, amongst the conquered rebels, to prove the 
injustice of his brother's execution, I explored and noted the 
principal occurrences of that most sanguinary engagement. I 
give them, in connection with the preposterous incident which 
they gave rise to, to show in one view the melange of fanaticism, 
ferocity, and whimsical credulity, which characterised the lower 
Irish at that disastrous epocha, as well as the absurd credulity 
and spirit of true intolerance which signalised their London 
brethren in the matter of the silly incident which I shall men- 
tion. 

The town of Enniscorthy, in the county of Wexford, in Ire- 
land (one of the first strong possessions that the English, under 
Strongbow, established themselves in) is situate most beautifully 
on the river Slaney, at the base of Vinegar Hill ; places which 
the conflicts and massacres of every nature, and by both parties, 
have marked out for posterity as the appropriate sites of legend- 
ary tales, and traditional records of heroism and of murder. 

The town is not fortified ; and the hill, like half-a-globe, 
rising from the plain, overlooks the town and country, and has 
no neighbouring eminence to command it. 

The first assault on tins town by the rebels, and its defence 
vol. II. 2 G 



450 



barrington's personal sketches 



by a gallant but not numerous garrison, formed one of the most 
desperate, heroic, and obstinate actions of an infatuated people. 
It was stormed by the rebels, and defended with unflinching gal- 
lantry ; but captured, after a long and most bloody action, during 
which no quarter was given or accepted on either side. Those 
who submitted to be prisoners only preserved their lives a day, 
to experience some more cold-blooded and torturing extinction. 

The orange and green flags were that day alternately success- 
ful. But the numbers, impetuosity, and perseverance, of the 
rebels, becoming too powerful to be resisted, the troops were 
overthrown, the rout became general, and the royalists endea- 
voured to save themselves in all directions. But most of those 
who had the good fortune to escape the pike or blunderbuss 
were flung into burning masses, or thrown from the windows of 
houses where they had tried to gain protection or conceal them- 
selves. 

The insurgents were that day constantly led to the charge, 
or, when checked, promptly rallied, by a priest who had figured 
in the Trench revolution in Paris — a Father Eoche. His height 
and muscular powers were immense, his dress squalid and bloody, 
his countenance ruffianly and terrific. He had no sense either 
of personal danger or of Christian mercy. That day courage 
appeared contagious, and even his aged followers seemed to have 
imbibed all the ferocity and blind desperation of their gigantic 
and fearless pastor. 

The streets through which the relics of the royal troops must 
traverse to escape the carnage were fired on both sides by the 
order of Father Eoche, and the unfortunate fugitives had no 
chance but to pass through volumes of flame and smoke, or yield 
themselves up to the ferocious pikemen, who chased them even 
into the very body of the conflagration. 

My accompanying friend had most unwittingly got into the 
town when in possession of the army, and could not get out of it 
on the sudden assault of the rebels. He had no arms. Many 
of them knew him, however, to be a person of liberal principles, 
civil and religious ; but he with difficulty clambered to a seat 



OF HIS OWN TDIES. 



451 



high up in the dilapidated castle, where, unless as regarded the 
chance of a random shot, he was in a place of tolerable safety. 
There he could see much ; but did not descend till the next 
morning ; and would certainly have been shot at the windmill on 
Vinegar Hill, had not the Catholic priests of his own parish 
vouched for his toleration and charity ; and above all, that he 
had, early that year, given a large sum towards building a chapel 
and endowing a school for the cottagers' children. 

His description of the storm was extremely exciting ; and 
the more so as it was attended by an occurrence of a very inter- 
esting nature. 

It was asserted by some of the loyal yeomen who were 
engaged, that the rebels were commanded, as to their tactics, by 

Captain Hay uf the dragoons, who had been some time 

amongst them as a prisoner — a report countenanced by the dis- 
affection of Ids family. This gave rise to charges against Cap- 
tain Hay of desertion to the rebels, and high-treason. He was 
submitted to a court-martial ; but an act of the most gallant and 
chivalrous description saved him from everything but suspicion 
of the criminality imputed. 

Mrs. Ogle and Miss Moore, two of the most respectable 
ladies of Wexford, happened to be in Enniscorthy when it was 
assaulted, without any protector, and subject to all the dangers 
and horrors incidental to such captures. They had no expecta- 
tion of escape, when Captain Hay, in the face of every species of 
danger, with a strength beyond his natural powers, and a courage 
which has not been exceeded, placing them on a horse before 
him, rushed into the midst of a burning street, and through 
flames and shors, and every possible horror, bore them through 
the fire in safety ; and, although he sadly scorched himself, pro- 
ceeded in conveying and delivering them safe to their desponding 
relations. Mr. Ogle was member for the county. The act was 
too gallant to leave anything more than the suspicion of guilt, 
and the accused was acquitted on all the charges. 

Very shortly afterwards his eldest brother was executed at 
Wexford, his father died, while another brother, also deeply im- 



452 



barrington's personal sketches 



plicated, was not prosecuted, and figured many years afterwards 
as secretary to the Catholic Committee ; but he was neither deep 
enough nor mute enough for Mr. Daniel O'Connell, who, at that 
day, was, by-the-by, a large, ruddy young man, with a broad and 
savoury dialect, an imperturbable countenance, intrepid address, 
et prceterea nihil. He was then more fastidious as to his appro- 
bation of secretaries than he afterwards turned out to be.* 

Amongst the persons who lost their lives on that occasion 
was the Eev. Mr. Haydn, a very old and highly respected clergy- 
man of the Established Church : he was much more lamented 
than the thirty priests who were hanged at the same period. He 
was piked or shot by the rebels in the street, and lay dead and 
naked upon the Castle Hill, till duly consumed by half-starving 
dogs or swine of the neighbourhood, that marched without in- 
vitation into the town, to dine upon any of the combatants who 
were not interred too deep to be easily rooted up again. 

After the rebellion had entirely ended, it was remarked in 
the neighbourhood, that what the peasants call a " slip of a pig," 
which had been busy with his neighbours carousing in Ennis- 
corthy, as aforesaid, had, from that period, increased in stature 
and corresponding bulk to an enormous degree, and far out- 
stripped all his contemporaries, not only in size, but (so far as the 
term could be applicable to a pig) in genuine beauty. At length 
his growth became almost miraculous ; and his exact symmetry 
kept pace with his elevation. 

This young pig was suffered to roam at large, and was uni- 
versally admired as the most comely of his species. He at 
length rose to the elevation of nearly a heifer, and was con- 
sidered too great a curiosity to remain in Ireland, where 
curiosities, animate and inanimate, human and beastly, are too 
common to be of any peculiar value, or even to excite attention. 
It was therefore determined to send him over as a present to 
our Sovereign — as an olive-branch, so to speak, for the subdued 
and repentant rebels of Enniscorthy, and a specimen which, 

* Mr. O'Connell was called to the bar, Easter 1798, on or about the same day 
that Father Roche was hanged. — (Author's note.) 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



453 



being placed in the Tower, might do great honour to the whole 
race of domestic swine, being the first tame gentleman of his 
family that ever had been in any royal menagerie. 

' This Enniscorthy miracle was accordingly shipped for Bristol, 
under the care of two rebels and a showman, and in due 
season arrived in the metropolis of England. Eegular notice 
of his arrival was given to the king's proper officers at the Tower, 
who were to prepare chambers for his reception, though it 
was maliciously whispered that the "olive branch," as they 
called the pig, was intended only second-hand for Ins Majesty ; 
that is to say, after the party and showman should have pursed 
every loose shilling the folks of London might be tempted to 
pay for a sight of so amiable an animal. The pig took admir- 
ably ; the showman (a Caledonian by birth) was economical in 
the expenditure, and discreet in his explanations. The pig be- 
came the most popular show at the east end ; Exeter 'Change 
even felt it. However, fate ultimately restored the baboons and 
tigers to their old and appropriate rank in society. 

This proceeding, this compliment of the olive branch, was 
neither more nor less than is generally used in the case of our most 
celebrated generals, admirals, and statesmen (and occasionally our 
most gracious Sovereigns) who, being duly disembowelled, spiced, 
swaddled, and screwed up in a box, with a white satin lining to 
it, well stuffed to make it easy, are exhibited to their compatriots 
of all ranks, who can spare sixpence to see an oak trunk, covered 
with black, and plenty of lacquered tin nailed on the top of it. 
But here the pig was seen alive and merry, which everybody, ex- 
cept testamentary successors, conceives has much the advantage 
over anything that is inanimate. 

I had myself, when at Temple, the honour of paying six- 
pence to see the fork which belonged to the knife with winch 
Margaret Nicholson attempted to penetrate the person of his 
Majesty, King George the Third, at St. James's ; and the Dean 
and Chapter of Westminster, through their actuaries, receive 
payment for showing the stone heads of patriots, poets, and 
ministers, whom they have secured in their tabernacle : Sir 



454 



bakrington's personal sketches 



Cloudesley Shovel, who was drowned as an admiral ; Major 
Andre, who was hanged as a spy ; and Mr. Grattan, who should 
have been buried in Ireland. 

There can be little doubt that the greatest men of the pre- 
sent day, for a British shilling, before much more of the present 
century is finished, will be exhibited in like manner. 

The thing has become too public and common. In early 
days great men dying required to be buried in the holiest 
sanctuary going. Sometimes the great bust was transferred to 
Westminster Abbey ; but, of late, the monuments are becoming 
so numerous, the company so mixed, and the exhibition so like 
a show-box, that the modern multiplication of Orders has made 
many Knights very shy of wearing them. Thus the Abbey has 
lost a great proportion of its rank and celebrity ; and I have 
been told of a gentleman of distinction, who, having died of 
a consumption, and being asked where he wished to be buried, 
replied, " Anywhere but Westminster Abbey." 

To resume, however, the course of my narrative — the cele- 
brity of the " olive branch " every day increased, and the num- 
ber of his visitors so rapidly augmented, that the showman 
considered that the day when he should be committed to the 
Tower would be to him no trifling misfortune. Even the 
ladies conceived there was something musical in his grunt, 
and some tried to touch it off upon their pianos. So gentle, so 
sleek and silvery were his well-scrubbed bristles, that every- 
body patted his fat sides. Standing on his bare feet, his beauti- 
fully arched back, rising like a rainbow, overtopped half his 
visitors ; and he became so great and general a favourite, that, 
though he came from Ireland, nobody even thought of inquiring 
whether he was a Papist or Protestant grunter ! 

One day, however, the most unforeseen and grievous misfor- 
tune that ever happened to so fine an animal, at once put an end 
to all his glories, and to the abundant pickings of his keeper. 

It happened, unfortunately, that a Wexford yeoman, who had 
been at the taking and retaking of Enniscorthy (a theme he 
never failed to expatiate on), and had been acquainted with the 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



455 



pig from his infancy, as well as the sow which bore him, having 
himself sold her to the last proprietors, came at the time of a 
very crowded assembly into the room ; and, as Irishmen never omit 
any opportunity of talking, especially in a crowd, and, if at all 
convenient, more especially about themselves, the yeoman began 
to brag of his acquaintance with the hog, the storming of the 
town, the fight, and slaughter ; and, unfortunately, in order to 
amuse the company, by suggesting the cause of his enormous 
bulk and stature, mentioned, as a national curiosity, that the 
people in Ireland were so headstrong as to attribute his growth 
to liis having eaten the Eev. Mr. Haydn, a Protestant clergyman 
of Enniscorthy, after the battle ; but he declared to the gentle- 
men and ladies that could not be the fact, as he was assured by 
an eye-witness, a sergeant of pikemen amongst the rebels, that 
there were several dogs helping him, and some ducks out of the 
Castle court. Besides, the parson having been a slight old 
gentlemen, there was scarcely as much flesh on his reverend 
bones as would have given one meal to a hungry bull-dog. This 
information, and the manner of telling it, caused an instantaneous 
silence, and set every English man and woman staring and shud- 
dering around him, not one of whom did the pig attempt to put 
his snout on. The idea of a Papist pig eating a Protestant 
parson, was of a nature quite insupportable ; both church and 
state were affected. Their praises were now turned to ex- 
ecration ; the women put their handkerchiefs to their noses to 
keep off the odour ; everybody stood aloof both from the pig and 
the showman, as if they were afraid of being devoured. The 
men cursed the papist brute, and the rebellious nation that sent 
him there ; every one of them who had a stick or an umbrella 
gave a punch or a crack of it to the "olive branch and in a 
few minutes the room was cleared of visitors, to the astonishment 
of the yeoman, who lost no time in making his own exit. The 
keepers, now perceiving that their game was gone, determined to 
deliver him up, as Master Haydn, to the lieutenant of the 
Tower, to be placed at the will and pleasure of his Majesty. 
The lucky showman and the two amateur rebels now pre- 



456 



barrington's personal sketches 



pared to return to Wexford. Though somewhat disappointed at 
the short cut of their exhibition, they had no reason to find 
fault with the lining their pockets had got. The officers of the 
Tower, however, had heard the catastrophe and character of the 
" olive branch," and communicated to the lieutenant their 
doubts if he were a fit subject to mix with the noble wild beasts 
in a royal menagerie. Several consultations took place upon 
the subject ; the lord-chamberlain was requested to take his 
Majesty's commands upon the subject in council ; the king, who 
had been signing some death-warrants and pardons for the 
recorder of London, was thunderstruck and shocked at the 
audacity of an Irish pig eating a Protestant clergyman. 

" The Tower ! the Tower !" said his Majesty, with horror and 
indignation. "The Tower for an Irish hog that ate a pious 
Christian ! No, no — no, no, my lords. Mr. Eecorder, Mr. 
Eecorder — here, see, see — -I command you on your allegiance, 
shoot the pig, shoot him — shoot, Mr. Eecorder, you can't hang. 
Eh ! you would if you could, Mr. Eecorder, no doubt. But, 
no, no — let me never here more of the monster. A sergeant's 
guard — shoot him — tell Sir Eichard Ford to send his keepers to 
Ireland to-night." 

The Eecorder withdrew with the usual obeisances, and notice 
was given that at six next morning a sergeant's guard should 
attend to shoot the " olive branch," and bury his corpse in the 
Tower ditch, with a bulky barrel of hot lime to annihilate 
it. This was actually executed, notwithstanding the following 
droll circumstance that Sir Eichard Ford himself informed us 
of :— 

Sir Eichard was far better acquainted with the humour and 
management of the Irish in London, than any London magistrate 
that ever succeeded him ; he knew nearly all the principal ones 
by name, and individually, and represented them to us as the 
most tractable of beings, if duly come round and managed, and 
the most intractable and obstinate, if directly contradicted. 

The Irish had been quite delighted with the honour intended 
for their compatriot, the Enniscorthy boar, and were equally 



OF HIS OWN TIMES. 



457 



affected and irritated at the sentence which was so unexpectedly 
and so unjustly passed on him ; and, after an immediate consul- 
tation, they determined that the pig should be rescued at all 
risks, and without the least consideration how they were to save 
his life afterwards. Their procedure was all settled, and the 
rescue determined on, when one of Sir Eichard's spies brought 
him information of an intended rising at St. Giles's to rescue the 
pig, which, the frightened spy said, must be followed by the 
Irish firing London, plundering the Bank, and massacring all 
the Protestant population — thirty thousand choice Irish being 
ready for anything. 

Sir Eichard was higlily diverted at the horrors of the spy, 
but judged it wise to prevent any such foolish attempt at riot, 
by anticipating Ins Majesty's orders ; wherefore, early in the 
evening, a dozen policemen, one by one, got into the hog's resi- 
dence, with a skilful butcher, who stuck him in the spinal mar- 
row, and the " olive branch " scarcely brought life to the ground 
with him. The rescue was then out of the question, and in a 
very short time Doctor Haydn's gourmand was not only defunct, 
but actually laid ten feet under ground, with as much quick-lime 
covered up over his beautiful body as soon left hardly a bone to 
discover the place of his interment* 

Sir Eichard told this anecdote, as to the execution, etc., with 
great humour. The Irish used to tell Sir Eichard that a pig was 
dishonoured by any death but to make bacon of ; and that, when 
killed for that purpose, they considered his death a natural one ! 

* I cannot discover the drift of this extraordinary episode. It may be a 
satiric allegory crookedly directed against some individual. At all events, it is 
a curiosity, which is all that can be said in its praise. 



INDEX. 



Alcock, Mr., i. 166 ; his duel, 167 ; 

his madness, 169 
Alborough, Lord, his dispute with 
the Earl of Clare, L I 
198, 204, 304 
Benjamin, Earl of, i. 
315 

Countess Dowager, i. 
315, 325 

Aldermen of Skinners' Allev, L 133- 
139 

Alley, Mr. Peter, i. 46 

Anecdotes, humorous, i. 35, 54, 74, 
82, 84, 93, 116, 128, 130, 131 ;| 
of Lords Norbury and Bedesdale, 
185, 186, 335, 336, 338 

Asgill, Sir Charles, L 178 

Baldwin, Mrs., l 65-67 

Ball, Mr. H., attorney, his duel with 

Lord Mount Garret, i. 291,' 

292 

ad venture at a ball, i. 95 
Ball, Dr., i. 33 

Barret, Dr., vice-provost of Trinity 
College, i. 35 

Barrington, Sir Jonah, birth and 
ancestry, i, 1-8 ; candidate to re- 
present Bally nakill, 28 ; educa- 
tion, 30-37 ; adopts the legal 
profession, 68 ; betrothed to Miss 
D. Whittingham, 63 ; takes the 
lead at the Bar, 74; pursues 'the 
slayer of his brother William, 
90 ; returned for Tuam, 96 ; 
debut in the Irish House of Com- 
mons, 100 ; appointed King's 
Counsel, and takes office, 119 ; 
presented with a snuff-box by the 



End of Ormonde, 123; dines at 
DugSJ Castle amongst the rebels, 
147; Judge of the Admiralty, 
154 ; candidate for Dublin, 156 ; 
prosecutes Mr. Alcock, 169; pro- 
ceeds from Paris in 1815 to meet 
the Duke of Wellington on his 
entry into that capital, 178 ; re- 
fuses the Solicitor- Generalship, 
18S ; his dispute with Lord Nor- 
bury, 1^4 ; visits, with Curran, 
the Cannon coffee-house, 208 ; 
defends Theophilus Swift, 228, 
230, 231 ; tights with Mr. P. 
Daly, 2S1-2S6; fights Leonard 
MacNally, 296 ; his political 
conduct, ii. 65-72 ; visits France 
with Lady Barrington, 73 ; de- 
scribes Napoleon's return from 
Elba, 76 ; becomes acquainted 
with Colonel Macirone, Dr. Mar- 
shall, and Colonel Gowen, 97, 
98, 99 ; passes the 18th June 
1815 at St Cloud, 129 ; visits 
the Chamber of Deputies, 133, 
138 ; is unwillingly involved in 
State intrigues, 149, 395 ; wit- 
nesses the action at Sevres and 
Issy, 151, 154 ; investigates his 
name and family, 168, 169, 175, 
176, 177; visits Jersey, and re- 
turns to Normandy, 177 
Barrington, Sir Jonah, memoir of, by 
the Editor, i. xxix. 
Colonel Jonah, i. 1, 299 
Colonel John, i. 6, 9 
Mr. John, the author's 
father, i. 1, 25, 51 
81 



460 



INDEX. 



Barrington, Henry French, his hunt- 
ing-lodge, i. 44-47 ; 
his marriage, 60 ; he 
challenges the array, 
94 

Cornet John, ii. 409 
Mr. William, shot in a 
duel, i. 90 
Barry, Sir Edward, i. 65 
Beauman, Mr. John, i. 147 
Beresford, Mr. John C, i. 157, 
162 

Bertrand, Count, his civility to the 

author, ii. 90 
Blacquiere, Lord de, i. 97, 101, 111, 

175 

Blucher, Prince, ii. 128, 164 
Bodkin, Amby, i. 287 

Mr. Dennis, i. 26, 27 
Bonaparte, Madame Mere, ii. 112, 
113 

Bon mots, i. 74, 101, 114, 115, 116, 
117, 118, 174, 184, 186, 187, 
189, 212, 223, 226, 249, 250, 
257, 259, 260, 262, 264, 287, 
297 

Borumborad, Dr. Achmet, estab- 
lishes Turkish baths, i. 125 ; 
obtains parliamentary grants, 127; 
accident at his baths, 128; loses 
the grants, 130 ; becomes Mr. 
Patrick Joyce, and marries Miss 
Hartigan, 131 

Bourke, John, Esq., i. 287 

Sir John, i. 138 ; ii. 238 

Boyd, Judge, i. 256 

Brown, Mr. Arthur, i. 98 

Brunswick, Duke of, i. 243 

Buckinghamshire, Earl of, i. 9 7, 119, 
175 

Bulls, Irish ; see Roche, Sir Boyle 
Burke, Mr., junior, i. 188 
Burr, Colonel, North American, i. 
192 

Burrows, Rev. Dr., imprisoned for 

libel, i. 231 
Butler, Captain Pierce, i. 294 
Hon. Somerset, i. 292 
Byrne, Sir John, i. 6, 298 
Lady Dorothea, i. 6 



Byrne, Counsellor John, his duel, i. 
293 

Cambaceres, ii. 119 
Camden, Marquess of, i. 150, 176, 
181 

Capitulation of Paris, ii. 160 
Carhampton, Lord, i. 328 
Carleton, Lord Chief- Justice, i. 211 
Caroline, Her Majesty Queen, i. 
242-246 

Castlereagh, Lord, i. 156, 176, 182, 
261 

Cathcart, Earl of, i. 177 
Charlotte, Queen, i. 242, 243, 244 
Chichester, the Earl of, i. 180 
Clare, Earl of, Lord Chancellor, i. 

98, 119, 156, 158, 180, 198, 

258, 262 

Clarence, H.R.H. the Duke of, ii. 28, 
48 

Clonmell, Lord Chief- Justice, i. 171, 
222 

Colclough, Mr. John, i. 147, 165 

Sir Vesey, i. 1 10 
Condorcet, Marquis de, ii. 99 
Cooke, Mr. Secretary, i. 149, 150, 
180 

Cornwallis, Charles, Marquess, i. 181 
Corry, Mr. Isaac, i. 97, 101, 175 
Cousin, Madame, abbess at Rouen, 
ii. 170 

Craig, General, i. 154, 155 
Crawly, Rev. Patrick, i. 34 
Crosby, Sir Edward, Bart., i. 281 ; 
ii. 372 
Balloon, i. 281-284 
Cumberland, H.R.H. the Duke of, i. 
244 

Curran, Right Hon. John Philpot, i. 

98, 116, 156, 158, 205- 
218, 257; ii. 257 
Mr., attorney, i. 213 

Daly, Judge, i. 260 

Mr. Richard, duellist, i. 281 
Davoust, Marshal, Prince of Eck- 

muhl, ii. 138, 141, 144 
Dillon, Lord, i. 175 
Dixon, Mr., i. 150 



INDEX. 



461 



Downes, Lord Chief-Justice, i. 91 
Doyle, General Sir John, i. 178 
Doyne, Lieutenant Charles, ii. 21 
Duelling, adepts in the laws of, i. 
274 

on horseback, i. 298 

rules of, L 277 
Duels between 

Lord Mountmorris and Hon. 

F. H. Hutchinson, i. 68 
William Barrington and 

Lieut. M'Kenzie, i. 89 
William Barrington shot 

dead by Capt. Gillespie, 

M'Kenzie's second, i. 90 
Mr. Scott (Lord Clonmel) 

and the Hon. Jas. Cufle 

(Lord Tyrawley), i. 172. 
Alcock and Colclough, i. 

167 

Theophilus Swift and Col. 

Lennox, i. 225 
Richard Daly and the author, 

i. 281 

Frank Skelton and the Ex- j 
ciseman, L 286 

John Bourke and Amby 
Bodkin, i. 287 

H. Deane Grady and Coun- 
sellor O'Maher, i. 288 

Grady and Counsellor Camp- 
bell, i. 289 

Barry Yelverton and nine 
military officers, i. 289 

Lord Mount Garret and Mr. 
Ball, i. 292 

Hon. Somerset Butler and 
Peter Burrowes, i. 292 

Lord Mount Garret and 
Counsellor Byrne, i. 293 

Leonard MacNally and the 
author, i. 296 

Col. Jonah Barrington and 
Mr. Gilbert, i. 299 
Duels, catalogue of, fought by emi- 
nent legal and official characters 
in Ireland, i. 271 
Duigenan, Dr., i. 133, 315 

Edgeworth, Miss Maria, i. 79, 348 



Edwards, Mr., of Old-court, i. 60 
Egan, Mr. John, i. 1 1 1 , 1 92, 247, 248 
Elgy (properly Elgee), Archdeacon, 

grandfather of Lady Wilde, ii. 354. 

(The whole story is a quiz of Bar- 

ington's.) 
Ely, Marquess of, i. 170 
Emmet, Robert, i. 268 
Evans, Mr., i. 331 

Fesch, Cardinal, ii. 132 

Fire-eaters, i. 270 

Fitzgerald, Lord Edward, i. 118 

Geo. Robt,, ii. 264-273 
Mrs. Elizabeth, i. 12-24 
Mr. Jas., prime sergeant, 
i. 229 

Fletcher, William, Chief-Justice of 
the Common Pleas, i. 122, 247, 
248 

Flood, Sir Frederick, i. 1 1 1 
Fouche, Due d'Otrante, ii. 100, 115, 
121, 136 

Gibbs, Sir Vicary, i. 243 
Giifard, Mr. John, i. 133, 160, 161, 
162, 190 
Harding, Chief- Justice of 
Ceylon, i. 162 
Gillespie, General, shoots William 
Barrington, i. 90 ; his trial, 91 ; 
falls in India attacking a fort, 
93 

Godwin, Mr., his friendship for Cur- 
ran, i. 207 

Gonsalvi, Cardinal, i. 139 

Gould, Sir Francis, i. 139 

Grady, H, D, i. 271 

Grattan, Henry, i. 100, 156, 158, 
159, 190-197 
Henry, jun., i. 196 

Grogan, Mr. Cornelius, i. 150, 152 ; 
ii. 369 

Guinness, Mr. Richard, i. 294, 333 

Hamilton, Sir John Stuart, i. 112 
Hartpole, George, of Shrewl Castle, 

i. 301-326 
Harvey, Mr. Bagenal, i. 74 ; his 

fate, 147, 150, 152 ; ii. 366 



462 



INDEX. 



Hatton, William, i. 148 
Hawker, General, ii. 50, 57 
Hay, Mr., i. 148 
Hemi, Judge, i. 257 
Hoare, Mr. Bartholomew, i. 248, 249 
Horish, chimney-sweep, i. 163 
Hove, Captain Parsons, i. 42 
Hoy's "Mercury," i. 221 
Hunter, General, i. 152 
Hutchinson, Mr., Provost of Trinity 
College, Dublin, i. 34 {note) 

Irish "Wit and Humour, by the 
Editor, ii. 1-19 

Jackson, Eev. Mr., sentenced to 
death, i. 333. 

Jebb, Judge, i. 260 

Jervoise, Sir J. Jervoise White, i. 
157. (Properly Jervis.) 

Johnson, Kobert, Judge, i. 120, 269 
William, Judge, i. 259, 263 

Jordan, Mrs., ii. 37 ; memoir of, by 
the Editor ; her birth, 20 ; ap- 
pears on the Dublin stage, 20 ; 
joins Daly's company, 21 ; her 
success in the Count of Narbonne, 
21 ; declines Lieutenant Doyne's 
offer of marriage, 21 ; plays in 
York and Leeds, 21 ; performs, 
1785, at Wakefield, 22 ; well re- 
ceived at Drury Lane, 22 ; as Miss 
Hoyden in the Trip to Scar- 
borough, Mrs. Inchbald's praise of 
her, 24 ; Mrs. Jordan's triumph 
in She Would and She Would not, 
24 ; appears at Edinburgh, 25 ; 
her success as Beatrice in the 
Panel, 26 ; her significant letter 
in the papers, 27 ; accepts the 
overtures of the Duke of Clarence, 

28 ; her appearance in various 
characters, 29 ; revisits Dublin, 

29 ; separates from the Duke, 30 ; 
her retirement to France, and 
death, 31 ; Bartons account of 
the provision made for her by the 
Duke, 32 

Julien, Count, ii. 97, 98 



Kean, Mr., i. 371 

Kelly, Mr. Joseph, i. 44, 46 

Kelly, Michael, i. 44 

Judge, i. 74, 263 
Keogh, Mr. James, duellist, i. 275 
Captain, i. 148 ; executed, 
150, 152 ; ii. 369 
Kil warden, Lord, i. 148, 264, 266, 
267, 334 

Kingston, Earl of, tried by the 
House of Peers in Dublin, i. 106 

Kinnaird, Lord, ii. 1 00 

Kirwan, Dean, i. 236 

Knaresborough, Mr. James Fitz- 
patrick, his adventures, i. 201, 
203, 204 

Kyle, Mr., i. 64 

Labedoyere, Gen., ii. 108 

Lake, Gen., 1, 150, 152 

Lanegan, murderer, i. 52 ; his 
execution, 53 ; his re-appearance 
to Mr. Lander and the author, 
54 ; his escape from his coffin, 
56 ; becomes a monk of La 
Trappe, 56 

Langrishe, Sir Hercules, i. 97 ; ii. 374 

Latouche, Mr., i. 158 

Leinster, Duke of, i. 156, 195 

Le Jeune, General ; his admirable 
paintings, ii. 132 

Lett, Mrs., i. 170 

Lifford, Lord Chancellor, i. 257 

Llandaff, Earl of, i. 175 

Londonderry, the late Marquess of, 
i. 176-182 

Louis XVIII., ii. 81, 88 

Lyons, Mr., of Watercastle, has his 
queue and curls cut off by French 
Barrington, i. 94 

Lysaght, Mr. Edward, ii. 382-390 

Macirone, Col., ii. 97, 143, 149 
M'Kenzie, Lieut., 1, 88, 90 
M'Mahon, Mr., apothecary, i. 137 
MacNally, Leonard, counsellor,!. 295, 
296 

Magee, Mr., i. 223 

Marshall, Dr., ii. 97, 98, 101, 132 

Martin, Mr. Richard ; his duel with 



INDEX. 



463 



G. R. Fitzgerald, ii. 265-273, 
296-298 

Mayo, Countess Dowager of, i. 341 

Meyrick, General, i. 178 

Monckton, Baron, i. 256 

Moore, Mr. Thomas, i. 351, 353, 361 

Morgal, Mr., i. 25 B, 259 

Morgan, Lady, her a Wild Irish 

Girl" and "Florence McCarthy 

i 367, 349, 351 
Mount Garret, Lord, afterwards Earl 

of Kilkenny, i. 291 ; challenges 

the lawyers, 292 
Mountmorris, Lord, i. 64, 63 
Mullymart (Mullaghniast), massacre 

at* ii. 222 
Murat, King of Naples, iL 97, 98 
Murphy, Captain, of the rebels, ii. 

354-361 

Musgrave, Sir Richard, i. 110, 113 
Lady, i. 73, 75, 78 

Napoleon, the Emperor, ii. 80, 82, 
83 ; the " Hundred Days," 87- 
96; his Inauguration, 105-118; 
he promulgates the Constitution, 
119-127; his fall, 128-137; his 
escape planned, 145-150 ; his 
final ruin, 151-160 
Neil, Mary, and H. Rowan, i. 32S 
Newenham, Sir Edward, i. 110 
Ney, Marshal, i. 179 ; ii. 108 
Norbury, Lord, i. 184-189, 260 
Norcot,*Mr. T., i. 251-254, ii. 378 

O'Cahils, Clan of the, i. 1 2 
O'Connor, Arthur and Roger, ii. 99 
O'Farrell, Mr. Garratt, i. 186 
O'Flaherty, Sir John, L 65 

Captain, his murder, i. 52 
Ogle, Mr., i. 157 
O'Leary, Father, i. 336-339 
O'Maher, Counsellor, L 288 
Orange Toasts, i. 136 
Oriel, Viscount, i. 97 
Ormonde, Walter, Marquess of, i. 
121-124 

John, Earl of, i. 120 ; his 
trial and acquittal, 122 

Countess of, i. 123 



Otway, Colonel Cooke, i, 312 

Miss, her marriage with 
Hartpole, i. 317 
Owenson, Mr. H., ii. 40, 41 

Parnell, Sir John, i. 97, 175 
Plunket, Right Honourable William, 

i. 156, 158, 187 
Ponsonby, George, Lord Chancellor, 

i. 156, 158 
Power, Baron, L 257 

Randolph, Mr., i. 193 

Redesdale, Lord Chancellor, i. 185, 

186, 187, 261 
Reynolds, Thomas, i. 153 
Richmond, Duke of, i. 225, 226, 251 
Roche, Sir Boyle, i. 115-118 
Rossmore, death of Lord, i. 340-346 
Rowan, Mr. Archibald Hamilton, i. 

327-334 

Sandys, Major, i. 155 

Seutt, Mr. Matthias, i. 223 

Sheares, brothers, i. 148 

Sheffield, Lord, i. 180 

Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, i. 165 

Skelton, Mr. Frank, i. 285 

Sleven, Miss Honor, i. 307 

Mary, i. 307 ; her marriage 
to Hartpole, 310 

Stowell, Lord, i. 242, 244 

Stratford, Hon. and Rev. Paul, i. 325 
Lady Hannah, i. 304 

Stuart, Sir Charles, British Minister 
at Paris, iL 149 

Swift, Mr. Edmond, i. 224 

Mr. Theophilus, i. 224 ; his 
duel with Col. Lennox, 225 ; 
his libel on the Fellows of 
Trinity College, 227 ; sen- 
tenced to twelve months' im- 
prisonment in Newgate, 231 

Swift, Mr. Dean, i. 224 

Tara, Knights of, i. 276 
Thevenot, Henry, the Author's foot- 
man ; a spy, ii 89, 103, 121 
Thibaudeau, Count, ii. 116, 135 
| Thoroton, Mr. Robert, i. 97, 102 



464 



INDEX. 



Tigh, Mr., i. 333 

Tone, Counsellor Theobald Wolf, i. 
153-155 

Tottenham, Mr., and his boots, i. 
105 

Tyrawley, Lord, i. 171-174 

Lady, i. 171 
Tyrone, Earl of, i. 264 

Vernon, Sir Charles, i. 251 ; ii. 
182 

Vicars, Mr., i. 67 

Waddt, Mr., i. 145 
Walpole, Colonel, slain by the rebels, 
i. 151 

Walsh, General Hunt, i. 49 



Wellesley, Captain Arthur, i. 175 
Wellington, Duke of, i. 175-179 
Westmoreland, Earl of, i. 119, 181, 
187 

Wheeler, Mrs., i. 65 

Wit and Drollery, i. 45, 112, 115, 
139, 163, 257. See also notes 
at 140, 193, 206, 207, 209, 
255, 256, 266, 338, 339 ; and 
the essay -on Wit and Humour, 
passim. 

Wright, Mr., ii. 77, 78 

Yates, Miss, of Moon, i. 311 
Yelverton, Baron, i. 175, 247-249, 
259 

Yelverton, Barry, i. 289 



THE END. 



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